‘I still love you’: Russian tennis superstar Sharapova smiles on sun-swept California beach in spite of ‘very different Christmas’
Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova has grinned for a sunset snapshot in a pair of trainers by the beach in California, posing on a deck after a Christmas that she has described as "very different" in her idyllic home.
With much of the region following strict lockdown guidelines after Covid-19 cases surged earlier this month, socialite Sharapova has been less able to enjoy the kind of communal festivities she might have otherwise pursued over the season.
The Russian tennis icon has had a yuletide to remember, though, thanks to the announcement last week of her engagement to Alexander Gilkes, the British businessman and co-founder of online auction house Paddle 8.
"Oh, Christmas," Sharapova lamented for the benefit of her Instagram following of more than 4.1 million, wearing a red dress and red and white trainers in front of the sandy beach outside her home beneath an illuminated horizon. "You were very different this year but I still love you."
Sharapova still showed off her taste for high art at Christmas, highlighting a work made by influential Danish architect and artist Poul Henningsen in 1929.
The 33-year-old then shared a shot of herself taking part in virtual present opening and admiring an early design for a card for her wedding with the words "bride to be" written on it.
The retired ex-champion headed to the beach, taking a couple of photos of the darkened coastline stretching out, dotted by palm trees on the West Coast.
Her trip marked a distinct contrast from this time last year, when declining Sharapova was approaching the very end of a glittering career that produced five Grand Slam titles.
The astute businesswoman headed to Dubai just before Christmas to promote her candy range, managing a spot of karaoke at home before a low-key New Year's Eve thanks to jetlag.
Sharapova had left the sport within two months, signing off with a first-round exit at the Australian Open that came shortly before much of the tennis calendar for the rest of the year was disrupted by the pandemic.Also on rt.com Perfect match: Maria Sharapova announces engagement to millionaire UK art dealer