Elegant Russia tennis star Maria Sharapova and British businessman Alexander Gilkes have announced their engagement describing the decision as the ultimate.
The five time Grand Slam winner who retired in February this year is known for her unique yells during rallies on court and was once arch rivals of American tennis goddess and 23 Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
Sharapova and her 41-year-old British businessman who is owner and co-founder of Paddle8, an online auction platform that specializes in fine art and collectibles, have been dating since 2018 and both took to the social media to make the decision of their engagement public on Thursday.
The former world No.1 women’s tennis player and one of the richest sportswomen announced her engagement on Instagram. Next to a gallery of romantic pictures and videos of the pair, Sharapova, 33, gushed: “I said yes from the first day we met This was our little secret, wasn’t it ߒ?ߥ? @gilkesa.”
Gilkes, meanwhile, made the announcement on his own Instagram page: “Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova #ߒ?.”
The couple first went public with their romance in 2018. Months later, Gilkes was Sharapova’s date to the Met Gala in May 2019 and in February 2020 the couple were arm-in-arm again at the Vanity Fair Oscars party.
“To the kindest and most professional person I know, here is to you Maria, and all that awaits you in your next chapter! May you continue to inspire us all with your deep humility, self-deprecation, strength and focus,” he wrote.
“As a remarkable first chapter closes with so many extraordinary feats, we look forward to all that you will accomplish with equal grit and grace in the years to come,” he added.
Gilkes was previously married to fashion designer Misha Nonoo. Sharapova on her part has dated a number of tennis players and celebs in the past like Grigor Dimitrov (2013 – 2015), NBA star Sasha Vujacic (2009 – 2012), TV producer Charlie Ebersol (2008) and Andy Roddick (2005 – 2006).
The 2000 edition Fed Cup winner aside from tennis made good show of his modeling efforts earning huge sums over the years in endorsements and adverts.