INDIAN WELLS: Andre Agassi told ESPN.com he was “out of line” and apologised for poking fun at Pete Sampras during a charity match last week.

Long-time rivals Agassi and Sampras were wearing microphones during the match, and the crowd at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California could hear an exchange that started lighthearted but turned testy.

At one point Sampras mimicked Agassi's pigeon-toed walk, which drew laughs from the crowd.

Then Agassi chided Sampras for being stingy. In his book, Agassi criticised Sampras for being a poor tipper.

Sampras responded with a high, hard serve that forced Agassi, who was partnering Rafael Nadal, to duck.

Both Agassi and Sampras were smiling, but neither showed up at the post-match news conference. “It was out of line,” Agassi told ESPN.com on Monday. “It was inappropriate. The night was on fire. We were all having fun. I was trying to be comedic. I only had a split second to make a decision.

“The joke fell flat and I'm sorry,” he added. “My hope was that the night was still enjoyable.” — AP

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