She met her perfect match! Maria Sharapova is engaged to businessman Alexander Gilkes after two years of dating.
“I said yes from the first day we met ❤️ This was our little secret, wasn’t it 💍🥂@gilkesa,” the former tennis pro, 33, shared via Instagram on Thursday, December 17, alongside a handful of sweet memories from her whirlwind romance with Gilkes, 41. The couple cozied up in a black-and-white selfie and goofed off in front of the camera in a playful video.
Gilkes, for his part, gushed over his soon-to-be wife in a social media upload of his own. “Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova,” he wrote via Instagram on Thursday.
The couple’s happy news was met with supportive messages from famous pals, including Lily Collins, who recently announced her own engagement to Charlie McDowell. “Ahhhhh yessss congratulations!!! 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖,” the Emily in Paris star, 31, commented.
Sharapova was first linked to the Eton College grad — a schoolmate of Prince William‘s — in early 2018. That year, Gilkes was spotted cheering on the Russian athlete from the stands at the U.S. Open. and the twosome exchanged flirty messages with one another on social media before confirming their romance.
The major relationship milestone comes several months after Sharapova revealed that she’s hanging up her tennis racket after spending decades in the sport. In February, the Sugarpova founder penned an emotional essay for Vanity Fair announcing her retirement.
“How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known? How do you walk away from the courts you’ve trained on since you were a little girl, the game that you love — one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys — a sport where you found a family, along with fans who rallied behind you for more than 28 years?” she wrote at the time, officially “saying goodbye” to life as a tennis pro.
After news broke of her retirement, Gilkes praised Sharapova for her strength, courage and vulnerability through the years.
“To the kindest and most professional person I know,” he wrote via Instagram in February. “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-deprecation, strength and focus. As a remarkable first chapter closes with so many extraordinary feats, we look forward to all that you will accomplish with equal grit and grace in the years to come. Proudly and lovingly, xx 🐻.”
Scroll down to see pics from the happy couple’s engagement announcement.