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HomeOther SportsFollowing the death of their boyfriend, Aryna Sabalenka, the tennis world rallies...

Following the death of their boyfriend, Aryna Sabalenka, the tennis world rallies at the Miami Open

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Aryna Sabalenka’s close friend Paula Badosa predicted that the match would be “uncomfortable”.

Aryna Sabalenka, the world number two, plans to compete in the Miami Open this week, organisers announced Tuesday, as several players extended their support following the alleged suicide of her lover. Sabalenka’s companion, Belarusian former NHL ice hockey player Konstantin Koltsov, 42, died late Monday after plunging from the balcony of a suite at an upscale resort in Miami, according to police. Sabalenka, a two-time Grand Slam winner, practiced at the Miami Open’s Hard Rock Stadium early on Tuesday afternoon, with organisers stating that she had not asked to withdraw and was “intending to play.”

In the second round, Paula Badosa of Spain is scheduled to play the 25-year-old Minsk native, who won the Australian Open in 2023 and her Melbourne championship earlier this year.

According to Sabalenka’s close friend Badosa, the match would be “uncomfortable”.

I talked to her for a long time yesterday. Likewise this morning. I can thus relate to what she’s going through,” she said at a news conference.

“What is happening, I am aware of the whole issue. Being my best friend, I don’t want her to suffer, therefore going through that is also a little shocking to me. It’s a pretty difficult circumstance,” she continued.

“At the same point playing against her, it’s also uncomfortable.”

Miami-Dade police spokesman Argemis Colome said in an email that police were alerted to the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort on Monday at 12:39 a.m. (0439 GMT) in relation to a male who jumped from a balcony.

“The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau has reacted and taken over the investigation into Mr. Konstantin Koltsov’s suspected suicide. No wrongdoing is alleged.”

Bal Harbour is an upscale neighborhood in the northern section of Miami Beach known for its fancy shopping complex and opulent residences.

Sabalenka maintains a home in Miami and regularly trains out of the city.

The situation, according to former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, is “heartbreaking.”

“What she’s going through at this moment is beyond my comprehension. That is what I am saying. And I’m crying too. What a horrible circumstance this is. It is really challenging. I made an effort to get in touch with her and let her know that I was available for anything.

“I cherish Aryna. She seems like such a wonderful person. She’s always very extroverted and joyful. It is sad to watch her go through that. I have no idea what she’s going through at this moment. Everybody experiences grief in a unique manner.

Today, she was strolling by. I allowed her to have her space. She remarked, “I let her know that we’re here for her and that I’m here if she needs anything.”

The players were aware of the awful news, according to American Jessica Pegula, and were extending support to Sabalenka.

“I think all of us all heard about it last night and then obviously there’s more news about it this morning, which was just really horrible,” she said to reporters.

“Honestly, all you can do is offer encouragement for her to handle it however she sees fit. Since each person is so unique, you never know how they will react to it or how they wish to grieve,” the woman remarked.

The Belarus hockey federation had earlier confirmed Koltsov’s passing.

On its website, the federation stated, “We are in mourning.”

During his playing career, Koltsov spent time in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, making 144 games there from 2003 to 2006.

“The Penguins extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Penguins forward, Konstantin Koltsov,” the organization said in a statement.

In addition, he represented Belarus in nine world championships and two Winter Olympics (in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010).

Prior to starting a relationship with Sabalenka, he divorced his wife Julia in 2020, after having three children together.

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