Former AC Milan and Italian captain Paolo Maldini announced that he will not pursue a professional tennis career anymore. The 49-year-old and his partner Stefano Landonio was beaten 6-1, 6-1 by Poland’s Tomasz Bednarek and Dutchman David Pel in the first round of the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan on Monday.
“It was like writing a poem after studying years of maths,” said Maldii, “We tried to enjoy the moment, also because I didn’t expect I’d be able to experience something like this at the age of 49. Ironically, on the very first point of the match, I pulled a muscle.”
“It was a unique and unrepeatable experience, I have lived it as a game and there will be no other experience like this. We could have played better on a few points, but no problem,” said the former AC Milan captain, “It could have ended 6-0 6-3, we lost 6-1 6-1 and that’s fine.”
“I had to take it easy, especially at my age. You can be a little bit nervous, because you are doing something that is not yours. But since you’ve been a good player in another sport, you know what to expect.(But) those who know professional sport know very well that it’s impossible to invent yourself as a professional from one day to the next. This is something I know very well,” he said.
Maldini was considered one of the best defenders of his time and was captain of AC Milan for the better part of his career. He has won the UEFA Champions League five times with the club and has won the Italian Serie A seven times.