Paolo Maldini draw revealed in Milan Challenger
Former Italy football captain Paolo Maldini has discovered the fate of his first official ATP match in Milan.
The AC Milan legend is playing in the Challenger doubles draw after winning a local club tournament with his coach Stefano Landonio. The prize for winning the tournament was a wildcard entry into the doubles draw in Milan.
Maldini and Landonio will face Tomasz Bednarek and David Pel. The draw in Milan sees a number of unusually lowly-ranked players taking part. This is due to the tournament clashing with Wimbledon Qualifying, and with the Wimbledon Championships due to get underway in a week from Monday many Challenger regulars are absent from the singles and the doubles.
Such a dearth of highly-ranked talent forces Milan to give opportunities to other sources, a strategy that looks set to pay off handsomely with Maldini’s participation garnering worldwide media attention.
Maldini and Landonio could face the third seeds Steven de Waard and Ben Mclachlan in the second round if they managed to win their first round match.
Maldini had retired from professional football at the end of the 2008-09 season. Marco Cecchinato is the top seed in the men’s singles event at the tournament.