Milan legend Paolo Maldini to quit professional tennis after one match
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The former Italy and Milan captain lost 6-1, 6-1 with partner Stefano Landonio in the first round of the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan – a Challenger Tour event – to Poland's Tomasz Bednarek and Dutchman David Pel.
"It was like writing a poem after studying years of maths," said the 49-year-old Maldini, who is also co-owner of NASL franchise Miami FC
"We tried to enjoy the moment, 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. It could have ended 6-0, 6-3, [but] we lost 6-1 6-1 and that's fine."
Maldini, who only retired from football aged 41, says it's unlikely he will be making a return to professional tennis, and says he only really took part in the ITF event because he belongs to the tennis club that was hosting it, where he plays once a week.
"I would say no, especially because I don't train like an ex-professional," he added.
"I play once a week, I come from another sport, I have physical problems with my knees and a series of limitations due to the inevitable wear and tear caused by football. Also, I don't have much time available."