Agassi writer tells of Sampras clash


Among the stories that didn't make the cut in Andre Agassi's book "Open" was father Mike Agassi's confrontation with Pete Sampras during a match.

J.R. Moehringer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who collaborated with Agassi on the book, revealed the story during a recent Q and A with Vegas Confidential.

"Unbeknownst to Andre, Mike Agassi finagled a front-row seat at a match against Sampras, and soon made his presence felt," Moehringer said.

"While Sampras was getting ready to serve, Mike Agassi's cell phone started to ring. Sampras stopped, annoyed, and turned.

"There, a few feet away, was Mike Agassi. Sampras couldn't believe his eyes. And still the cell phone kept ringing. Finally Sampras said: 'Aren't you going to answer it?'

"To which Mike Agassi barked: Shut the (expletive) up and serve the ball!"

Moehringer's full interview appears on the Web site www.NormClarke.com.

It includes Steffi Graff's reaction to the explosive revelations and Moehringer's personal and professional battles.

LIZ TAYLOR

It's been almost 60 years since Bill McMillan, a retired Chicago Tribune deliveryman, became a fan of Elizabeth Taylor for her random act of kindness.

He was a 19-year-old radioman on the U.S. destroyer Sturdevant, enjoying some drinks with fellow crewmen at the Caribe Hilton hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when Taylor walked in with her first husband, Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, in May 1950.

"They were on their honeymoon. They sat down at the other end," McMillan said.

A few minutes later, Taylor invited the sailors to join her and Hilton. "She bought our drinks, our meals," he said.

She even gave them a kiss as they headed back to the ship.

"Her heart was as big as her beauty," McMillan said.

Taylor filmed "Only Game in Town" in Las Vegas in 1969, with many scenes at Caesars Palace.

She played a lonely chorus girl nearing middle age when she meets a musician/compulsive gambler ... played by Warren Beatty.

She had won her first Oscar for the 1960 film "BUtterfield 8" and the second for the 1966 film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

SIGHTINGS

Ed Henry, CNN's chief White House correspondent, getting peppered with insults from Flamingo headliner Vinnie Favorito during the latter's show Monday. Henry had arrived in Las Vegas about sunrise Monday after a redeye flight from Hawaii, where he had covered President Barack Obama and Rush Limbaugh's health scare. While driving through downtown Las Vegas about 8 a.m. he found himself in the middle of another breaking story: the courthouse shooting that left two dead and a deputy U.S. marshal wounded. Henry appeared on Larry King's talk-show Monday night. ... Holly Madison, among a party of 18 "Peepshow" cast members at Chippendales (Rio) on Monday. ... "Ross the Intern" with the crew from Jay Leno's show, at the Flamingo to cover the World Series of Beer Pong on Monday. ... Raiders quarterback Jamarcus Russell, at the Palms on Monday, setting off a storm in Oakland, where the team was holding a final meeting. When asked why Russell was missing, head coach Tom Cable cited "personal" reasons. Oakland Tribune columnist Cam Inman wrote, "C'mon, nothing is more 'personal' than a trip to Vegas." ... Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol, chowing down on tapas at Julian Serrano restaurant (Aria at CityCenter) last week with his girlfriend. They dined also at Serrano's Picasso (Bellagio).

THE PUNCH LINE

"Has anyone seen 'Avatar'? They made another $300 million this weekend. Oh wait, that's Tiger Woods' wife." -- David Letterman

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

 

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