Former NHL player boyfriend of tennis star and Australian Open champ Aryna Sabalenka dies suddenly aged 42

19 March 2024, 09:32 | Updated: 19 March 2024, 09:44

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

By Asher McShane

A former NHL star who dated tennis superstar Aryna Sabalenka has died at the age of 42.

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Konstantin Koltsov appeared at both the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics for the Belarusian national team and was signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins between 2002 and 2006.

He went on to win the Russian Super League title with Salavat Yulaev in 2008.

His cause of death has not been revealed but a Belarusian news outlet said he died of a “detached blood clot.”

His death was announced in a statement by former team Salavat, with a club statement reading: "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.

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

"Konstantin Evgenievich forever wrote himself into the history of our club. May he rest in peace."

Sabalenka is in Miami preparing for the upcoming Miami Open, where she is seeded second, 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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