Tennis star Maria Sharapova reveals pregnancy news on her 35th birthday

Retired tennis star Maria Sharapova has announced that she is expecting her first child with her fiancé Alexander Gilkes.

The former world number one tennis player revealed her pregnancy via an Instagram post on her 35th birthday, hailing the start of “precious beginnings”.

She posted a photo of herself standing on a beach while beaming at the camera and cradling her growing baby.

Writing in the caption, the athlete said, “Eating a birthday cake for two has always been my specialty.”

Friends and family rushed to congratulate the couple in the comments, including actress Lily Collins and Australian model Lara Worthington.

Gilkes, 42, also left a heart-eyed emoji below Sharapova’s post.

Sharapova has been engaged to Gilkes, a British businessman and friend of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, since December 2020.

The couple, who publicly confirmed their relationship in 2018, announced the engagement on both of their Instagram accounts at the time.

The five-time Grand Slam champion said in her post: “I said yes from the first day we met. It was our little secret right @gilkesa?

Gilkes wrote in the caption of her own post, “Thank you for making me a very, very happy boy. I can’t wait to love you all my life and learn from you @mariasharapova.

The businessman has been linked to the royal family for more than a decade, having been a guest at the Cambridges’ wedding in 2011 and Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank in 2018.

Sharapova retired from tennis in February 2020, after 28 years in the sport. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to have won the Grand Slam in her career.

Writing about her decision to retire to Vanity Fair, Sharapova said she would miss playing tennis every day.

“By giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” she wrote.

“I will miss my team, my coaches. I will miss the times when I sat with my dad on the bench at the training ground.

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