On her 35th birthday, Maria Sharapova took to Instagram to announce that she is expecting her first child with fiancé Alexander Gilkes. The former world number 1 looked extremely happy posing on a beach and called her pregnancy a “precious beginning”.
“Precious beginnings!!! Eating a birthday cake for two has always been my specialty,” Sharapova wrote on her Instagram post.
This begs the question: Who is Alexander Gilkes?
Gilkes was born in Camden, London in 1979 and is the son of a dermatologist. He was educated at Eton College and the University of Bristol. He worked for the French company LMVH as well as for the British auction house Phillips as an auctioneer.
In 2011, Gilkes co-founded online auction house Paddle8 with Aditya Julka and Osman Khan. He served as chairman of the company until 2018 when it was sold to The Native.
In 2020, Gilkes co-founded the venture studio Squared Circles with Lukas Derksen and Paddle8 co-founder Osman Khan.
What is Alexander Gilkes net worth?
Alexander Gilkes net worth is currently estimated at $25 million. The 43-year-old’s business career earned him the title of one of the most creative entrepreneurs of 2017 by business magazine Fast Company. He’s appeared on GQ and Vanity Fair’s best-dressed lists. The Englishman is also a board member of the New York Academy of Art.
Gilkes married Bahraini-born fashion designer Misha Nonoo in 2012. The couple’s divorce was finalized in 2017. The 43-year-old started dating Sharapova in 2018 and the couple got engaged in 2020. The Russian posted a photo of her and Gilkes on Instagram. following the news.
“I said yes from the first day we met. It was our little secret, wasn’t it,” Sharapova captioned her Instagram post.
Sharapova was in the final stages of her career when she started dating Gilkes in 2018. That year, the Russian reached the quarter-finals of Roland Garros and the semi-finals of the Italian Open. As a result, she returned to the top 30 of the WTA rankings. In 2019, Sharapova won eight out of 15 matches and dropped out of the top 100. She finished the year ranked 134th.
The Russian entered the Australian Open 2020 as a wild card and lost to Donna Vekic in the first round. This turned out to be Sharapova’s final Grand Slam appearance when she announced her retirement from tennis on February 26.
As Sharapova is expecting her first child, wedding bells may soon be on the horizon.