Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova is getting a new title: mommy.
The Russian star announced on her 35th birthday that she’s expecting her first child with fiancé Alexander Gilkes.
Maria posted a picture of herself at the beach on Instagram showing off her small bump.
“Precious beginnings,” she captioned the pic. “Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty.”
Since her retirement from tennis in February 2020, Maria has become quite the globe-trotter attending fashion shows and enjoying life at a slower pace.
“When I was competing I’d only get to spend a few weeks of the year at home, so it’s been nice to have more time to relax, catch up with loved ones and focus on my businesses,” she says.
“As much as I love to travel, not having to rush off to the next tournament has been really nice,” she told People magazine in 2020.
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Since leaving the tennis courts behind, she’s been keeping fit by enjoying the outdoors as much as possible, “either doing a boxing workout on the beach or hiking on some of the trails nearby,” she added.
The former world No 1 was one of the most famous tennis players in the world during her career. She's one of only 10 women to win all four grand slam titles during her career, ending with five major wins.
Maria and Alex, who first started dating in 2018, got engaged in December 2019, but haven’t set a date for their wedding yet. She explains that Covid-19 put their plans on ice.
“I think with today’s environment, there’s so many uncertainties. We haven’t set a date. We actually haven't discussed it yet because we want our friends and family to be comfortable in an environment and not feel like they have to attend something,” she said.
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It will be the second marriage for art dealer and businessman Alexander (42), who moves in high circles. He was married to fashion designer and Meghan Markle’s BFF Misha Nonoo for five years before they divorced in 2017.
He's also friends with Prince William. They met when they were both attended Eton College as teenagers. His younger brother, Charlie Gilkes, is rumoured to have been in a relationship with Pippa Middleton, William's sister-in-law, during their time at Edinburgh University.
Sources: edition.cnn.com, si.com, dailymail.co.uk, people.com, hellomagazine.com,