Maria Sharapova and Fiancé Alexander Gilkes Are ‘Not in a Rush’ to Get Married — Here’s Why (Exclusive)

The former tennis champ is opening up about focusing on new business ventures, mom life and why she and her fiancé can't think about planning a wedding yet

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Maria Sharapova (left) and Alexander Gilkes in 2021

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Maria Sharapova (left) and Alexander Gilkes in 2021

20 years ago, at just 17, Maria Sharapova shocked the world when she upset two-time reigning champ Serena Williams in July 2004 to win Wimbledon and become the first Russian woman to take the title.

Now, four years into her retirement, Sharapova, 37, is looking back. Of course, she's seen plenty of continued successes off the court, especially around her business ventures. But she's also relaxed a little bit, leaning into being a mom to 2-year-old son Theodore, whom she shares with her fiancé, British businessman Alexander Gilkes, 44.

Related: Who Is Maria Sharapova's Fiancé? All About Alexander Gilkes

“I don’t know if any woman ever knows when it’s time to step into a new phase or motherhood, but I feel like I made the choice at the right time,” Sharapova tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. “I feel like I have a healthy distance from tennis. I was ready for a new chapter in life.”

<p>Dave Benett/Getty Images</p> Maria Sharapova (left) and Alexander Gilkes in 2021

Dave Benett/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova (left) and Alexander Gilkes in 2021

As for she and Gilkes making it official? She's in no rush, she says.

"We were going to have a big wedding and then I got pregnant, and so we haven't actually scheduled a new wedding yet," she says. "Perhaps in the next couple of years."

She says they're both pretty much too busy to even think about wedding planning.

"Yeah. We're not in a rush," she says with a laugh. "We're just so excited about Theo, and Alexander also just launched his company recently. So in between work and parenting, there's just so much going on right now."

Related: Maria Sharapova and Fiancé Alexander Gilkes Welcome Their First Baby: 'Our Little Family'

<p>Maria Sharapova/instagram</p> Maria Sharapova holds son Theo

Maria Sharapova/instagram

Maria Sharapova holds son Theo

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Plus, the couple, who split their time between L.A. and Miami are always on the go.

"We spend more time in California since having our son, but also my fiancé's British. So we spend summers in Europe," she says, noting that they're soon jetting off to the UK to spend time with Gilke's family, and if it works out, the duo will have a weekend getaway to Italy alone.

"It's important," she says, of carving out time to be just with her fiancé for a few days.

To read more about Maria Sharapova's life now, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands now.

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