Andre Agassi and John McEnroe engaged in an intense doubles match along with respective teammates Andy Roddick and Michael Chang – and things soon turned sour. The Slam was finally won by Agassi and Roddick after they won a single and doubles match.
During the exhibition match, McEnroe and Agassi teased and heckled each other in the usual fashion. The American, who is known for his on-court arguments and antics, was in his element.
Agassi, on the other hand, also playfully called McEnroe names, giving in to his reputation of having breakdowns on the court.
Pickleball has been gaining traction on a widespread scale recently. With the coronavirus pandemic and consequent lack of team-oriented games, pickleball observed further popularity. The four players competed in the Pickleball Slam for a £880,000 ($1m) grand prize.
The maiden Slam also lay witness to McEnroe’s infamous meltdown after a fault. He also engaged in some smack talk against the organisers, jokingly saying: “They’re trying to cheat me out of the game.”
Agassi also called the American a “pain in the a**”. Prior to the highly-awaited championship itself, McEnroe “threatened” Agassi and Roddick, claiming he could easily beat them.
In another clip, posted by the official Pickleball Slam account, Agassi can be seen sarcastically lauding McEnroe. The former joked that he would “break out in hives”, owing to McEnroe’s somewhat docile behavior. However, later on, true to his nature, McEnroe went on to throw the paddle to the ground during the second set game point.
Ahead of the event, McEnroe led the trash talk between the four men – calling out Agassi and warning Roddick that his big serve is off-limits.
He said: “And then there was pickleball. Mr Andre Agassi, you can’t run me around like you used to do on the tennis court, and Mr Andy Roddick, you got to serve underhand. So guess what, Michael Chang and I are coming for you. Let’s do it.”
Chang said that the event gave him a chance to get a few losses back from Agassi and Roddick. He added: “I’ve been thinking for years how I can avenge some of these losses, particularly to Andre Agassi and even a couple to Andy Roddick.
“Now I got my chance, the pickleball Slam, and I get a partner with the best hands in tennis, John McEnroe. Bring it on, baby.”