Maria Sharapova is a mom! The 35-year-old former No. 1 tennis pro announced on July 15 that she welcomed a baby boy with her fiancé Alexander Gilkes, 42, making them both first-time parents. Alongside a sweet photo of her and Alexander looking down at their little one, who was swaddled in a white blanket, she revealed his name is Theodore and he was born on the first of the month. “The most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding gift our little family could ask for,” she wrote.
Maria celebrated her 35th birthday on April 19 by announcing her pregnancy with a gorgeous photo of herself holding her growing bump at the beach. In the photo, she turned to the side and held her baby bump as she stunned in a light brown bandeau bikini top and long brown pants. “Precious beginnings!!!” she wrote at the top of her announcement. “Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty.”
The Russian athlete has been with the British businessman since 2018 and they made their official debut as a couple at the 2019 Met Gala in New York City. Alexander popped the question to Maria in Dec. 2020 just months after Maria retired from tennis. “I said yes from the first day we met,” she penned in her announcement post, which included a carousel of selfies and videos of the pair together. “This was our little secret, wasn’t it.” Alexander also shared the exciting news on his Instagram account. “Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova,” he wrote with a ring emoji.
Maria previously noted she wasn’t in a rush to get married or plan a wedding due to the “uncertainties” that come with the coronavirus pandemic. “I think with today’s environment, there’s so many uncertainties, we haven’t set a date,” she told Mid-day in Sept. 2021. “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.”
It appears Maria and Alexander chose to prioritize starting a family together, instead. Congratulations to the new parents!