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Maria Sharapova has welcomed her first child with fiancé Alexander Gilkes.
The Russian tennis star announced on Friday that she gave birth to a baby boy, Theodore, on 1 July. “The most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding gift our little family could ask for,” she captioned an Instagram post of herself and her fiancé gushing over their new bundle of joy.
Fans and friends of the couple rushed to the comments to congratulate them on their newest addition.
“OMG hugest congratulations and love,” said jewelry designer Jessica McCormack.
“I am so happy for you two beautiful spirits,” wrote model Helena Christiansen. “Love you both so much and can’t wait to meet Theo.”
“Congratulations!! He looks like a polo player to me,” commented Ignacio Figueras, Argentinian polo star and friend of Prince Harry. “I can tell he has riding skills already.”
In April of this year, Sharapova revealed on Instagram that she was expecting her first child with the British businessman. At the time, the five-time Grand Slam champion posted a photograph of herself cradling her growing baby bump while standing on a beach. “Eating birthday cake for two has always been my specialty,” she captioned the post.
Sharapova has been engaged to Gilkes, 42, since December 2020 after publicly confirming their relationship in 2018. However, the couple have yet to plan their wedding due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In an interview with MSN, Sharapova said: “There are too many uncertainties and we have not yet decided on an official date. We haven’t talked about it yet because we want to put our relatives and friends at ease, with the right climate and not by pressing them to participate in something by force of circumstances.”
While this will be the tennis champion’s first marriage, Gilkes was previously married to fashion designer and best friend of Meghan Markle, Misha Nonoo, for five years before divorcing in 2017.
The British businessman has also been linked to the royal family for more than a decade, having been a guest at the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011 and Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank in 2018.