Sharapova gave the name of her baby
The reason for Maria’s absence at the Wimbledon Centre Court centenary celebrations has finally become clear.
The famous Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has finally confirmed the birth of her firstborn. If previously the 35-year-old athlete intrigued her fans in social networks with pictures with a big belly and the status of “mom”, now she published a photo: together with her partner Alexander Gilks and a baby in the frame.
“Theodore VII.I.MMXXII. The most beautiful, sophisticated and rewarding gift our little family could ever dream of,” the five-time Grand Slam winner wrote. Such a post leaves no doubt – the star couple had a baby boy, who was named Theodore on July 1.
Sharapova has been in a relationship since 2018 with British businessman Alexander Gilks, who sells art and is also a member of the royal family. Apparently, the couple is engaged, but there is no formal marriage. Gilks’ fortune is estimated at 20 million dollars.
However, money doesn’t matter to the former tennis player – during her 15-year career, she has earned over $300 million, of which on-court prize money is only a tenth of that, and the rest is the result of outstanding work with sponsors. The 42-year-old Briton has been married in the past. From 2012 to 2016, he was married to designer Edwina Ecklesthwaite, known as Misha Nonu.
Although Sharapova has lived in the U.S. since childhood and is culturally 100 percent American, her connection to Russia was also important to Gilks. His mother Robin once taught a course in Russian literature at Oxford University, and Alex himself studied Russian at Bristol University, although he doesn’t speak it very well, apparently. The name Theodore, given to the child, is also non-Russian. Unless, of course, the family will call him Fedya.
Alexander did not have any children in his previous marriage. The current child is the first for both the athlete and her life partner. The tennis player, who ended her career two and a half years ago, announced her pregnancy on April 20. Maria did not say anything about the timing, but everyone expected the baby to be born a little later.
Such ignorance caused a minor scandal. On July 3, many fans noticed the absence of Mariah at the centennial celebration of Wimbledon Centre Court, where almost all the iconic champions of the London “majors” were invited. At the time, many attributed this to the Russophobia of the tournament organizers who banned players from Russia this year. And the official explanations were given rather inarticulate.
But now it is obvious that All England Lawn Tennis Club knew the real reason of Sharapova’s non-appearance at the gala, but they did not disclose it publicly. Maria herself was also in no hurry to share the news with the public and explained herself only two weeks after the birth. By the way, the baby’s face is not visible on the photo in social networks – either for safety reasons, or out of superstition.
Citizenship by birthright
The reason for the end of Sharapova’s sports career was a chronic shoulder injury, which tormented the famous tennis player throughout her career. And apparently the injury or Maria’s fatigue from tennis was so great that the Russian, unlike most of her colleagues, after saying goodbye to great sport, did not try to play in veteran and exhibition tournaments.
Judging by social media, the former athlete was simply enjoying life. In the fall of 2020, it was reported that she had purchased a suburb in the Santa Barbara foothills. The nearly two-hectare ranch cost her $8.6 million. Maria and Gilks also bought a three-story building in the suburbs of Los Angeles on the oceanfront overlooking Malibu Beach. In general, the star couple will have no problems where to go with the child.
Throughout her career, Sharapova performed under the Russian flag, but her home has become the United States – obviously, she has at least a green card there. Exact information as to whether Maria has an American passport has not been made public. Be that as it may, if her child is born in the United States, he will automatically acquire the citizenship of that country by right of birth. Theoretically Sharapova could also apply for Russian citizenship for her son, but that is unlikely a matter of the near future.
As for Gilks, he is formally a citizen of the United Kingdom, but in fact is also an American. In the past he worked for the famous French firm Louis Vuitton and then moved to New York, where he got involved in the art trade. In that position, he had to communicate a lot with wealthy collectors from Russia. And Alexander was introduced to Sharapova by Serbian art master Marina Abramovic, who is famous for her notion of identity based on “confronting pain, blood and the physical limits of the body.” Abramović has repeatedly been accused of satanism and cannibalism because of her work.
Maria’s parents divorced in 2007, after they both moved from Russia to the United States. At the first stage of her career, the tennis player was under the strong control and influence of her father, but then she achieved independence and began to communicate more with her mother. Sharapova’s agent, Max Eisenbad, who has handled the Russian’s affairs throughout her career, has now taken over the promotion of British tennis player Emma Raducanu.