After making her professional tennis debut in 2000 at the age of six, Maria Sharapova is retiring from the sport. The athlete wrote a powerful essay to Vanity Fair, which was released on Feb. 26, about saying farewell to the sport that made her a legendary champion.
Maria has long been a household name for her prowess on the court, and many are now wondering what her post-retirement life will look like.
The Russia native is also a businesswoman with a successful line of candy, Sugarpova, and several endorsement deals with major sportswear companies.
Off the court, Maria is also in a relationship with a London entrepreneur, Alexander Gilkes. Who is Maria Sharapova's boyfriend? Find out who the champion is dating, and his tender statement about her retirement news.
Who is Maria Sharapova's boyfriend? Meet Alexander Gilkes.
Maria has been dating the 40-year-old Englishman since 2018, and the two have made several public appearances together on the red carpet. Alexander is the co-founder of Paddle8, which is an auction house for fine artwork. Though he was born, raised, and educated in England, Alexander is now based in New York, while Maria's primary residence is in Florida.
Before Paddle8, Alexander worked as an auctioneer. He served as the auctioneer for many high profile events, including ones hosted by Elton John and Madonna.
The businessman was previously married to Misha Nonoo, a designer, from 2012 to 2017. Singer Lana Del Rey performed at their Italian nuptials. They did not have any children together. Misha has since married Mikey Hess, the heir to the Hess gas corporation.
Following the news of his girlfriend's retirement, Alexander took to social media to express his pride over her and her career. He posted a photo of his love on the tennis court, and wrote about looking forward to the "next chapter."
"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-depreciation, strength and focus. As a remarkable first chapter closes with so many extraordinary fetes, we look forward to all that you will accomplish with equal grit in the years to come," he wrote.
He also took an excerpt from Maria's essay about her retirement and put it below his own words.
Before dating Alexander Gilkes, Maria had some very famous exes.
After going professional in tennis at an early age, Maria's first big high profile relationship was with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The two apparently met at Maria's 18th birthday party back in 2005, and they soon began dating. But, they weren't together for very long, and Adam later said some less-than-nice things about their intimate life together. He subsequently denied these claims.
Later in 2005, Maria reportedly dated fellow tennis pro Andy Roddick. The pair was definitely high profile on the tennis circuits, and they even got the couple nickname "Rodapova." But, they never explicitly confirmed their relationship, and Andy has since went on to marry Brooklyn Decker.
Maria's most public relationship was with Slovenian basketball player Sasha Vujacic. The two began dating in 2009, and they got engaged the following year. They made many public appearances together, and he was a fixture in the stands during her matches. But, by 2012, their relationship had ended.
From 2012 to 2015, she dated fellow professional tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, and she wrote about the relationship in her 2017 book, Unstoppable: My Life So Far.
As we now know, she began dating Alexander a year after her book was published, so unfortunately the public hasn't gotten to know much about the details of their romance.