New York, April 20: Retired tennis star and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova announced on her 35th birthday that she is expecting her first child with fiancé Alexander Gilkes.
Sharapova announced the news with an Instagram post, where the former World No.1 in a bikini posed by the ocean and made a cheeky reference to her special day, according to wtatennis.com on Wednesday.
“Precious beginnings!!!” she wrote, along with a white heart and angel emoji. “Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty.” Sharapova and Gilkes, a British businessman, have been in a relationship since 2018. They announced their engagement last December on Instagram, the report says.
A frequent guest in Sharapova’s player box while on tour, Gilkes has also accompanied her off the court to star-studded events, including the famed Met Gala in New York in 2019 and 2021.
“Sharapova retired from tennis in 2020, just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the last match of her career was a first-round loss to Croatian Donna Vekic at the Australian Open that year. She she is just one of 10 women to win all four Grand Slam tournaments of all time, winning five in total, and spent 21 weeks atop the WTA rankings,” according to the WTA.