AceShowbiz - Maria Sharapova is officially having a bun in the oven. While celebrating her 35th birthday, the former tennis star showed off her bare baby bump while announcing that she is pregnant with her first child.
On Tuesday, April 19, the birthday soon-to-be mom took to her Instagram page to share the exciting news. Along with a photo of herself cradling her bare pregnant belly on the beach, she wrote, "Precious beginnings!!! Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty."
In the said snapshot, Maria, who was engaged to her fiance Alexander Gilkes in December 2020, cradled her growing baby bump while smiling at the camera. For the beach outing, she donned an orange bandeau top which she paired with dark sweatpants. She also wore black sunglasses to complete her beach look.
Her post has since been flooded with sweet congratulatory messages from her fans and friends. Sports commentator Erin Andrews simply commented, "Congrats!" while the official account for Therabody, the company in which Maria serves as Strategic Advisor, chimed in, "OMG! Happy Birthday Maria and congrats on this special moment! We can't wait to meet your bundle of joy!"
One Instagram user penned, "@gilkesa YOU TWO ARE GOING TO HAVE THE MOST SPECTACULAR BABY! Congrats on the best year ever ahead!!" In the meantime, someone else wrote, "Oh wow, Maria! I'm so happy for you! This is amazing news. Congratulations to you and Alex! And all the best for you three!"
In December 2020, the five-time Grand Slam champ confirmed her engagement to Alex, who is a British businessman and co-founder of online auction house Paddle8. The couple first went public with their relationship in 2018.
"I said yes from the first day we met [red heart emoji]. This was our little secret, wasn't it@gilkesa," Maria penned underneath a sweet Instagram photo at the time. For his part, Alex shared the happy news on his personal Instagram page, writing, "Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova."
Maria decided to hang up her racket in February 2020. Of her retirement, she told Variety at the time, "In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I'll miss it every day." She continued, "I'll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court's gate before I hit my first ball of the day. I'll miss my team, my coaches. I'll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench."