Tennis star Aryna Sabalenka breaks silence after death of ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov

21 March 2024, 07:52

Aryna Sabalenka has broken her silence on the death of Konstantin Koltsov
Aryna Sabalenka has broken her silence on the death of Konstantin Koltsov. Picture: Instagram

By Kit Heren

Aryna Sabalenka has spoken out for the first time after the death of her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov.

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The hockey player was found dead in a hotel in Miami on Monday. Media in Belarus said he died from a "detached blood clot".

But authorities in Miami said the case was an "apparent suicide", and that Koltsov ‘jumped from a balcony’ at a five-star resort.

Sabalenka, the world's number two-ranked tennis player, said in a statement: "Konstantin's death is an unthinkable tragedy, and while we were no longer together, my heart is broken.

"Please respect my privacy and his family's privacy during this difficult time."

Sabalenka and Koltsov were no longer together
Sabalenka and Koltsov were no longer together. Picture: Instagram

She is set to continue playing despite the death of Koltsov, and will face off against a friend, Paula Badosa, in the Miami Open on Friday.

Badosa has said that playing against Sabalenka would be "uncomfortable".

"She's my best friend and I don't want her to suffer," Badosa said. "It's a very tough situation."

The boyfriend of tennis ace Aryna Sabalenka has died aged 42
The boyfriend of tennis ace Aryna Sabalenka has died aged 42. Picture: Instagram

Miami Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday: “According to investigators on Monday, March 18, 2024, at approximately 12:39am, Bal Harbour Police and Fire Rescue were dispatched to the St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, 9703 Collins Avenue, in reference to a male that jumped from a balcony. 

“The Miami-Dade Police Department, Homicide Bureau, responded and has taken over the investigation of the apparent suicide of Mr. Konstantin Koltsov (04/17/1981). No foul play is suspected.”

Salavat Yulaev, the Russian hockey club that Koltsov coached, said: “It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that the coach of Salavat Yulaev, Konstantin Koltsov, has passed away.

“He was a strong and cheerful person, he was loved and respected by players, colleagues, and fans. Konstantin forever wrote himself into the history of our club. 

“Koltsov won the Russian Championship and the Gagarin Cup as part of Salavat Yulaev, and did a great job on the team’s coaching staff.

“May his memory burn bright.”

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Koltsov celebrates after scoring in a match in 2013
Koltsov celebrates after scoring in a match in 2013. Picture: Alamy

Sabalenka is in Miami preparing for the upcoming Miami Open and Koltsov is thought to have joined her in Florida before his shock passing.

Koltsov started dating tennis player Sabalenka in 2021. He has three children from a previous relationship named Daniel, Alexander and Stefan.

Aryna Sabalenka defeated Emma Raducanu in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.
Aryna Sabalenka defeated Emma Raducanu in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Picture: Alamy

Sabalenka wrote on Instagram on his birthday last year: "I love you @koltsov2021.

"Happy birthday my love. You are my dearest person, my best friend and my strongest support. Peace be with you, strength, patience and health.

"I hope we will have everything we planned I love you."

Koltsov supported Sabalenka in Melbourne and watcher her lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the second year in a row.

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