Maria Sharapova first confirmed her relationship with Alexander Gilkes in October 2018

Maria Sharapova
Credit: Maria Sharapova/Instagram

Maria Sharapova is saying yes to forever.

On Thursday, the retired professional tennis player, 33, confirmed that she is engaged to British businessman and co-founder of online auction house Paddle 8, Alexander Gilkes. The couple first went public with their relationship in 2018.

"I said yes from the first day we met❤️This was our little secret, wasn’t it 💍🥂@gilkesa," Sharapova wrote in a sweet post on Instagram.

Gilkes, 41, also shared the happy news on his personal Instagram page, writing, "Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova #💍."

The businessman is a known close friend of Prince William, as the pals have stayed in touch since their time at Eton College.

Sharapova's announcement drew well wishes and congratulations from fans and famous pals alike, including a sweet comment from actress Lily Collins.

"Ahhhhh yessss congratulations!!! 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖," Collins wrote under the former athlete's post.

Sportscaster Erin Andrews also told Sharapova "congrats" on the engagement.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Sharapova first confirmed her relationship with Gilkes in October 2018, when the couple took a trip to the Cotswolds.

Prior to the romantic getaway, the duo was spotted at the Argento Ball for the Elton John Aids Foundation in June 2018 and they were also seen together around Beverly Hills in March of that year.

Before Gilkes, Sharapova dated fellow tennis star Grigor Dimitrov and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. She was also previously engaged to former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Sasha Vujacic. The two split in 2012.

Gilkes was previously married to designer Misha Nonoo — who is responsible for setting up Meghan Markle with Prince Harry — but they split in 2016 after 13 years together.

The five-time Grand Slam title winner retired from tennis earlier this year. She announced the news in a guest column for Vanity Fair in February.

"In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life," Sharapova wrote.

"I’ll miss it every day," she continued. "I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day. I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench."

Sharapova’s final match of her career came at the 2020 Australian Open, where she was defeated in the first round by Donna Vekić.