Maria Sharapova on Working Out Again After Welcoming Baby: 'It's About Taking the Right Steps'

The former tennis pro chats with PEOPLE about her first month of parenthood since welcoming baby boy Theodore with fiancé Alexander Gilkes on July 1

Maria Sharapova and Alexander Gilkes
Photo: Maria Sharapova/Instagram

Maria Sharapova is giving herself grace in the weeks since welcoming her baby boy.

While speaking with PEOPLE about the launch of Rothy and Evian's tennis-inspired capsule collection, the retired Russian tennis pro, 35, opened up about new parenthood and how she's staying "patient" as she gets back into her workout routine.

Since son Theodore entered the world on July 1, Sharapova says "every day brings new and happy memories and adventures."

"Every single week you learn something new about them, about their personality," she shares. "Although it's a full-time job, it's also just so gratifying to see this little human grow and to express himself and to share your moments with him when he's awake. It's all very special."

The five-time Grand Slam champion, who has previously been candid about her breastfeeding experience, continues to echo the "challenging" beginnings of nursing.

"You really don't know much about what you're doing and then you just figure it out. And then, in the end, it's all okay. I think it's more of the scheduling that's tricky. It's so many times a day," says Sharapova, who shares her son with fiancé Alexander Gilkes.

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"It's about managing your schedule so much better and you don't do things just on the spot. You have to plan a little bit further in advance," she adds.

Returning to her normal workout routine as a former athlete has required patience as well.

"I spent the last three months of pregnancy, I'd say in a nesting stage where I didn't do too much. I didn't feel my body was ready and I was getting quite tired. I felt quite uncomfortable towards the end," she explains. "Once I gave birth, I had this renewed energy, which I think I needed."

"This energy gave me the confidence to start working out slowly. And when I say working out, in the beginning, it was a stretch session to then it was a little bit of a toning session and then it became more Pilates and now I'm taking longer walks and soon I'll do a little bit more cardio," says Sharapova.

"It's about taking the right steps and not getting too far ahead of yourself because you really want to get back in shape and you want to get your self-esteem back about your body, but it takes time," she continues. "And I think I'm quite patient."

Sharapova, who has been an Evian ambassador for 12 years, also shares her excitement about the water brand's newest partnership that combines the athlete's ties to tennis and passion for sustainability.

On Tuesday, Rothy's and Evian water announced the launch of a limited-edition, tennis-inspired caption collection made from repurposed plastic waste from New York's largest tennis tournament last year, the U.S. Open.

Rothy's and Evian collected approximately 72,000 Evian bottles from the tournament, which have since been transformed into a capsule collection that features an assortment of footwear, tennis gear and accessories.

"To see a brand like Evian evolve and want to do the right things for the environment is something that I'm completely behind," says Sharapova.

"It's brands that are bringing attention to sustainability, such as Evian, that get me excited because the advancements and the technologies are breakthroughs," she continues. "And for us to share that knowledge with the public, to see how far this category has come is incredible."

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