While her homeland and much of Europe saw sub-zero temperatures on Valentine’s Day, Russian ex-tennis champion Maria Sharapova was tickled pink as she posed in a swimsuit at a luxury resort on the Caribbean Turks & Caicos Islands.
Touted as the region’s “best-kept secret”, the islands boast pristine sandy beaches, cays and clear waters across more than 40 islands – and Sharapova could not resist taking a snapshot in the sun.
The retired five-time Grand Slam winner was a guest of a boutique hotel set by an idyllic mile-and-a-half of private beaches, picturing herself by a sun lounger under an umbrella on a deck overlooking the shore.
“Happy Valentine’s Day from this magical beach,” the 33-year-old told her following of more than 4.1 million on Instagram.
Standing in the sun with her hands on her head, she added: “The beach cove is way too photogenic – taking all my pink thunder away.”
Nature-loving Sharapova did not specify whether she was following the action in faraway Melbourne, where the Australian Open is taking place for the first time since she left the professional sport.
Twelve years after winning the title, the former world number one was granted a wildcard entry at last year’s tournament before being knocked out in straight sets in the first round of the final event of her distinguished career.
Her former flame, Bulgarian contender Grigor Dimitrov, is about to face a compatriot of Sharapova in the quarterfinals of the competition.
The 18th seed will take on Aslan Karatsev, the Russian surprise package who has made the final eight after playing three qualifying matches to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
Two fellow Russians could also entertain Sharapova should she find time away from social media to watch the second week of the action: the more established Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are both in fourth-round singles action tomorrow.