Sabalenka: 'Heart is broken' by ex-partner's death



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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Aryna Sabalenka on Wednesday addressed the death of her former partner Konstantin Koltsov with a statement posted to her Instagram story and released by her agent.

“Konstantin’s death is an unthinkable tragedy, and while we were no longer together, my heart is broken,” Sabalenka wrote. Please respect my privacy and his family‘s privacy during this difficult time.

Koltsov, a retired professional hockey player who represented Belarus at the 2002 and 2010 Olympic Games and was a former member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, died Monday in Miami in what police ruled an apparent suicide.

Sabalenka and Koltsov began dating in 2021 and had not publicly revealed they had broken up. Koltsov, 42, had three children from a previous relationship.

Sabalenka, the world No. 2 and two-time reigning Australian Open champion, remained in the Miami Open draw following the news of Koltsov’s death and practiced at the tournament Tuesday, wearing all black. It was reported she would not be withdrawing from the event but would not be speaking to the media during the tournament. She is slated to open play against close friend Paula Badosa on Friday in the second round after receiving a first-round bye.

“She’s one of my best friends,” Badosa said Tuesday of Sabalenka. “Of course, I know what she’s going through. Honestly, for me it hasn’t been easy, too. I really don’t know what to say, honestly. She’s a strong woman. I think she will get the power from somewhere.”



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