Andre Agassi says he feels "sick" about his controversial on-court spat with Pete Sampras this weekend at a charity event in Indian Wells, Calif.
The two tennis legends were playing in a charity doubles match with current stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when they became involved in an awkward verbal spat that was amplified to thousands in the crowd and to a live television audience.
Since then, Agassi has drawn criticism for goading Sampras into his impression and then unnecessarily taking a cheap shot by ridiculing his rival's alleged frugality (an accusation that Agassi himself began in his autobiography "Open").
On Monday, Agassi talked to ESPN.com's Rick Reilly and offered an apology:
"It was out of line. 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. I went for it and it fell flat. I was trying to get past it, but Pete didn't really let me get past it. He didn't really roll with it. I've texted Pete to ask him if I can apologize in person.
"The joke fell flat and I'm sorry. My hope was that the night was still enjoyable. My whole book is about living and learning, and I guess you never stop."
That`s a decent apology, even though there was no need to continue taking subtle jabs at Sampras in it.
Both men acted childishly on Friday, Agassi more than Sampras. To his credit, the instigator stepped up Monday to extend a public olive branch. Sampras should follow the lead and accept it.
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