María Sharapova has turned 35 this Tuesday and has done it looking pregnant for the first time. The tennis player, winner of five Grand Slams, has taken advantage of the date to announce that she is expecting a child with her fiancé, businessman Alex Gilkes, with whom she has been dating for four years. In a photograph published on Instagram, the former athlete, retired since 2020, shows an incipient belly in an image taken on the beach. “Beautiful beginnings! Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty, ”she has written, along with the emoticon of a chick hatching.
Gilkes and Sharapova became engaged in December 2020, months after she retired from professional tennis and after two years of dating. So, they also chose social networks to make the news public. “I said yes the first day I met him. It was our little secret, ”the Russian athlete, who became number one in the world in her discipline, wrote at the time. A few words that obtained an immediate response from her partner, who thanked her for making her a “very, very happy” boy.
Gilkes, born in the United Kingdom and 42 years old, maintains a discreet profile although he is related to the British upper echelons. He studied at Eton, a prestigious school where he became friends with Princes William and Harry of England, even attending the former’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011. His ties to the aristocracy are so close that even Eugenia of York’s husband, Jack Brooksbank congratulated him and Sharapova when she announced their engagement.
In February 2020, the tennis player retired at the age of 32 after a lifetime dedicated to the sport. “After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, I am ready to climb another mountain, to compete in another field,” she said then, in a letter published in the magazines. Vanity Fair and Vogue. And it is that Sharapova, in addition to conquering the playing fields, became the first tennis player who triumphed as a model. Among other collaborations, the Russian has been the image of firms such as Ralph Lauren and Swarovski.