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Retired Wimbledon champion Stich to play doubles

July 18, 2009 22:09 IST

Former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich will return to the tour a decade after retiring to play doubles at the German Open in Hamburg next week, the 40-year-old said on Friday.

The Hamburg native, who reached a career-high singles ranking of world number 2, will join up with 21-year-old German Mischa Zverev.

Stich, the director of the Hamburg tournament and Wimbledon champion in 1991, last won a doubles title in 1997 in Halle and was last ranked in 1998, according to the ATP tour organisers.

"For the past five years I have been training in Hamburg with Mischa and at some point we had the idea to play doubles in a tournament together," Stich said in a statement.

Zverev, currently ranked 45 in singles, said: "It was always my dream to play doubles with someone of his quality. I am certain we can go through a couple of rounds."

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