Tennis star, ARYNA SABALENKA breaks her silence on KONSTANTIN KOLTSOV's death as she reveals they were no longer together but her 'heart is broken'

Thursday, March 21, 2024
 – Belarusian tennis star, Aryna Sabalenka has spoken up for the first time since the death of her former boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov.

Koltsov's death has been ruled an 'apparent suicide' after he fell from the balcony of a five-star hotel in Miami.

'Konstantin's death is an unthinkable tragedy, and while we were no longer together, my heart is broken,' Sabalenka posted to her Instagram story in both English and Belarusian. 'Please respect my privacy and his family's privacy during this difficult time.'

Koltsov, a Belarusian former professional hockey player who shares three children with ex-wife Julija Mikhailova, is believed to have joined Sabalenka in the city as she prepared for the Miami Open.

It's unclear when Sabalenka and Koltsov's relationship came to an end, but multiple sources told The Telegraph that the couple had split.

Despite his apparent suicide, World No. 2 Sabalenka still intends on playing the WTA tournament in the Sunshine State this week, the Tennis Channel reported Tuesday.

Ahead of her Round of 64 match against her best friend, Spain's Paula Badosa, on Friday, Sabalenka was seen wearing black while training.

Miami-Dade Police have taken control of the investigation into Koltsov's death. But his ex-wife Mikhailova offered her view on what might have happened to her ex-husband - saying that he 'was very likely drunk' before his fall and that there were liquor bottles found throughout his room on the 23rd floor of the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.

'Most likely, he was very drunk,' she told Zerkalo. 'Unfortunately, hockey players are sometimes guilty of this.

'Empty alcohol bottles were found in the room where Konstantin stayed. There was a balcony overlooking the ocean. Probably Konstantin did not keep track of his actions.

'We still have the old family computer with Konstantin's email. I knew the passwords and managed to open some emails. Konstantin had further booked apartments in a different location. Purchases that have not yet arrived have been paid for. He rented a car for a long time.

'That is, he did not intend to die. Anything, of course, can go to your head, but there was no sign of tragedy.'

Police have ruled out murder and believe the investigation will be over within a month, according to Mikhailova.

Mikhailova said that their children Daniel, Alexander, and Stefan, aged 18, 16, and five, are coming to terms with his death and claimed that the pair's eldest son, Daniel, is the heir to his estate.

Koltsov played two seasons with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins after being drafted by the team 18th overall in 1999. He finished with 12 goals and 38 points in 144 games played in America.

He also played a number of games in the Russian Super League and its successor, the Kontinental Hockey League. Across the two divisions, Koltsov had a combined 91 goals and 209 points in 612 games - beginning in 1997 and leading up to his retirement in 2015-16.

Koltsov also represented Belarus at the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games - finishing fourth and ninth respectively.

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