MILAN, June 27, 2017
Paolo Maldini, former professional footballer who played as a left back and central defender for A.C. Milan and the Italy national team, made his debut in professional tennis on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old has earned a wild card for the €43,000 Aspria Tennis Cup at the Aspria Harbour Club of Milan, where he teamed up with his coach and former professional Stefano Landonio in the doubles competition.
“Paolo’s gifted with a good serve in addition to some decent shots,” Landonio, who was once ranked 975 in the world and has coached Maldini since he retired in 2009, told the Tennis Italiano website ahead of the enocunter. “He’s also improving his volleys and while he may not be catching the eye in any particular part of his game, he does not have any weaknesses either.”
However, the pair lost to Tomasz Bednarek from Poland and Dutchman David Pel 6-1, 6-1. Landonio held serve in the sixth game of the opening set to get on the scoreboard but Bednarek and Pel took the frame in the following after only 19 minutes of play.
The wild card team also won the fifth game of the second set but eventually fell after 42 minutes.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) 27. Juni 2017
Maldini won 26 trophies with Milan: the UEFA Champions League five times, seven Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italiana titles, five European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
No Milan shirt, but I asked if he could sign my t-shirt! Maldini, great personality! It has been a privilege 🎾⚽️ pic.twitter.com/t9C8zJX9vE
— David Pel (@TennisDavidPel) 27. Juni 2017