AC Milan great Paolo Maldini will make his ATP tennis debut in his home city later this month on his 49th birthday.
Maldini, now part of the ownership group of Miami FC in the North American Soccer League, has been given a wild card to the Aspria Tennis Cup, an event on the ATP Challenger Tour.
He will partner his coach Stefano Landonio, a former professional player, in the men’s doubles event at the Aspria Harbour Club of Milan.
Maldini, who won 26 trophies with Milan, will celebrate his 49th birthday on June 26 when the pairing are scheduled to play in the first round.
“Paolo’s gifted with a good serve in addition to some decent shots,” Landonio said.
“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.
“Since he only started playing five or six years ago, there are some deficits in terms of technique,” he said. “If he’d started working on his technique earlier, then who knows?
“Certainly in view of his background, he’s got extraordinary mental and physical strength. Psychologically, he never suffers in the slightest in delicate situations – he’s really strong.”