Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Dear Haiti: please enjoy this donation of two of America's greatest tennis players ever, teasing and bickering like little children for all the world to see. No givesies backsies.

Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal took on Pete Sampras and Roger Federer as part of "Hit For Haiti," a charity event to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims. All four players were mic'ed up, so the audience could hear their banter. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot, as anyone who flipped through Agassi's book could tell you. He called out Sampras multiple times, for being personality-free, robotic, and for tipping a single dollar at a restaurant.


Let's set the scene: Agassi spent the whole match giving a running commentary, making little jokes about the other three players. Somewhere along the line the tension racheted up to the point where Nadal warned Agassi to "stop with the lip." Then, this:

Sampras gave his impression of Agassi's pigeon-toed walk, then waited for the comeback.

"Say something. Say it.''

"I-I want to impersonate you. I don't have any money.''

"Oh, about my tipping? Okay.''

"No, no wait. I got a dollar.''

All fun and games, if the joking was malice-free. Hint: it wasn't. Sampras rifled a serve at Agassi's head.

A lot of commentators are going to excoriate both players for taking a nice little Haiti benefit and turning it into their own Festivus Airing of Grievances. Not me. I'm willing to bet that this little shitfit drew more attention to the charity event than anything else could have. Part of me thought it could have been staged for just that effect, but then I remembered that Agassi's not smart enough and Sampras can't act.

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