One of the most followed and desirable tennis stars of her time, Maria Sharapova continued to be the crush of many a man after bidding adieu to the game.
Admired as much for her tennis as she is for her drop-dead gorgeous looks, Sharapova was a head-turner no matter where she played.
Embodying a deadly cocktail of wit, charm and superb tennis skills, the Russian, in many ways, was the glamor face of women’s tennis.
However, Sharapova broke a billion hearts when she took to Instagram to announce her engagement to British businessman and co-founder of online auction house Paddle 8 Alexander Gilkes.
She posted a mushy picture of herself with her fiance by the beach and tagged it with a message which seemed to suggest that she knew he was the one from the day they met.
“I said ‘yes’ from the first day we met. This was our little secret, wasn’t it?” the message read.
For someone who fended off an on-court marriage proposal with a smile and a nod of the head, Sharapova’s announcement took her fans by surprise.
In a moment that not many women tennis stars have faced in their playing days, an overzealous fan screamed a marriage proposal to the Russian during an exhibition tennis event in Istanbul in 2017.
Sharapova was playing Turkish tennis star Cagla Buyucakcay and was winding up to deliver a serve when the fan popped the question and the crowd erupted in amusement.
The Russian, however, saw the funny side of it and nodded her head as if to suggest that she was willing to consider the proposal.
She then responded with a ‘maybe’ before getting back to business.
It’s understood that Sharapova and Gilkes have been dating since 2018. However, he isn’t the first man to have swept the blonde off her feet.
The Russian tennis star has had many rumored affairs in the past. She is believed to have dated men from diverse fields of vocation – business to tennis.
Bulgarian tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, basketball player Sascha Vijacici, television Charlie Ebersol and retired American tennis star Andy Roddick are among the ones she has been romantically linked to.