Paolo Maldini: Former Italy defender beaten on pro tennis debut

Paolo Maldini
Paolo Maldini won 26 trophies over nearly a quarter of a century with AC Milan

AC Milan and Italy great Paolo Maldini's professional tennis debut ended in defeat at the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan.

Maldini and doubles partner Stefano Landonio lost 6-1 6-1 to Poland's Tomasz Bednarek and Dutchman David Pel.

The 49-year-old earned a place at the tournament with Landonio, who is also his coach, by winning a qualifier.

The Milan event is part of the Challenger Tour, one tier below the top-level ATP World Tour.

Landonio, 46, was once ranked 975th in the world, and has coached Maldini since he retired from football.

Maldini, capped 126 times by Italy, made his AC Milan debut in 1985, and played his final Serie A match for them in May 2009, a month before his 41st birthday.

A defender, he won seven Serie A titles with Milan, as well as the Champions League - or the European Cup, as it previously was - five times.

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