Michael Stich To Come Out Of Retirement To Play Hamburg Doubles

Sudeshna BanerjeeAnalyst IJuly 19, 2009

LONDON - DECEMBER 4:  Michael Stich in action during his match against Boris Becker during the Honda Challenge 2003 at The Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 2003 in London.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Former Wimbledon champion, Michael Stich will come out of his 12-year retirement to play doubles at the Hamburg meet.

Stich, who retired in 1997 following a shoulder injury, will be partnering 21-year-old Mischa Zverev, a precocious German talent in the red-clay tournament beginning on July 20.

"I’ve been practicing with Mischa in Hamburg for about five years and we got the idea at some point to play doubles at a tournament," Stich said on Friday. "The opportunity has now presented itself and as Hamburg boys we will play before the home fans next week."

The 40-year-old Hamburg native is the director of the Hamburg meet, which had been demoted from a Masters 1000 event to a 500 event and is now facing a financial crunch.

Stich reached a career-high singles ranking of No.2 and defeated the then-defending champion, Stefan Edberg, in the semis en route to capturing the 1991 Wimbledon title after toppling compatriot Boris Becker in the final.

In doubles he earned a career-high ranking of No.9, and his biggest achievements include winning the Wimbledon doubles in 1992, partnering John McEnroe, and the Barcelona Olympic Gold with Boris Becker.

He was crowned the Hamburg singles champion in 1993 while he reached the doubles final twice in 1990 and 1992 but was beaten on both occasions.