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Former Italian footballer Paolo Maldini set for professional tennis debut at ATP Challenger event

Rome: After spending a glorious quarter of a century as a star for AC Milan on the football pitch, Paolo Maldini has now qualified for a tennis tournament in Milan.

Maldini, now working as a director at Miami FC, qualified by wild card in the doubles in the weekend long Aspria Tennis Cup, part of the Challenger circuit, the level below the ATP.

 Former Italian footballer Paolo Maldini set for professional tennis debut at ATP Challenger event

File photo of former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini. Getty

"He's got a good service, he doesn't have a speciality shot but he has no weak points either," his partner and coach Stefano Landonio said.

“It was our first competitive match, although with Paolo we had already played in some exhibition tournaments,” Landonio told UBI Tennis.

"He’s quick on the court and I think he could play on a par with a 3.5, maybe 3.4. It’s a little different on a clay court, there he’d suit a 4.1, but when it comes to the doubles, he’s worth a lot more," he added.

Maldini won 26 trophies with AC Milan including five Champions Leagues before finally hanging up his boots in 2009 aged 41. He also played 126 times for Italy.

Maldini will celebrate his 49th birthday on the opening day of the Aspria Tennis Cup, 26 June.

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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 20:52:20 IST

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