Maria Sharapova's stunning pregnancy reveal in birthday post

Maria Sharapova, pictured here announcing she's expecting her first child.
Maria Sharapova has announced she's expecting her first child. Image: Getty/Instagram

Maria Sharapova has announced she's expecting her first child, revealing the news on Instagram on her 35th birthday.

The tennis icon showed off her baby bump in a photo on social media on Wednesday.

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“Precious beginnings!!!” she wrote.

“Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty.”

The five-time grand slam champion is engaged to British millionaire Alexander Gilkes.

Gilkes is one of the most connected men in the UK and reportedly became friends with Prince William when they were both at Eton College.

He is also said to be close to Prince Harry, who also went to the school.

The British businessman - who has a reported net worth of $20 million - is also the ex-husband of Meghan Markle’s best friend Misha Nonoo.

Maria Sharapova and Alexander Gilkes, pictured here at the 2021 Met Gala in New York.
Maria Sharapova and Alexander Gilkes at the 2021 Met Gala in New York. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sharapova first confirmed her relationship with Gilkes in October of 2018, when the couple took a trip to a popular tourist spot in England - the Cotswolds.

Sharapova previously dated fellow tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, as well as Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine.

The Russian star was previously engaged to former NBA star Sasha Vujacic, but the pair split in 2012.

Maria Sharapova's retirement from tennis at 32

Sharapova shocked the tennis world in early 2020 when she announced her retirement from the sport.

The Russian later revealed how a brutal loss to Serena Williams at the 2019 US Open convinced her it was time to call it quits.

Sharapova lifted the lid on how a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Serena sparked her decision to hang up the racquet.

“There is no mastering tennis – you must simply keep heeding the demands of the court while trying to quiet those incessant thoughts in the back of your mind,” Sharapova wrote in a farewell article.

“Did you do enough - and more - to prepare for your next opponent? You’ve taken a few days off - your body’s losing that edge. That extra slice of pizza? Better make up for it with a great morning session.

“Listening to this voice so intimately, anticipating its every ebb and flow, is also how I accepted those final signals when they came.

“One of them came last August at the US Open. Thirty minutes before taking the court, I had a procedure to numb my shoulder to get through the match.

“Shoulder injuries are nothing new for me - over time my tendons have frayed like a string.

“I’ve had multiple surgeries - once in 2008; another procedure last year - and spent countless months in physical therapy.

“Just stepping onto the court that day felt like a final victory, when of course it should have been merely the first step toward victory.

“I share this not to garner pity, but to paint my new reality: My body had become a distraction.”

Last month the Russian icon made the stunning decision to donate and help out children suffering from the war in Ukraine amid Vladimir Putin's invasion.

"With each day that goes by, I am more and more heartbroken and deeply saddened by the images and stories of families and children affected by this escalating crisis in Ukraine," Sharapova wrote on Instagram.

"I am donating to Save the Children’s crisis relief fund, an organisation working tirelessly to provide food, water, and aid kits to support those in need.

"Please join me in making a donation. I pray for PEACE and send my love and support to all those affected."

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