Aryna Sabalenka’s boyfriend died after ‘jumping from a balcony’ in apparent suicide

Aryna Sabalenka and Konstantin Koltsov had been in a relationship since at least 2021
Aryna Sabalenka and Konstantin Koltsov had been in a relationship since at least 2021 – Instagram

Despite her bereavement, Sabalenka is still expected to play in the Miami Open, which would involve a first match towards the end of this week, although she will not perform her usual post-match press conferences.

Video clips from the site suggest that Sabalenka went ahead with her practice session on Monday despite the tragic death of Konstantin Koltsov only a matter of hours earlier. She was pictured on court again on Tuesday after news of his death had been reported.

In a statement, the Miami-Dade Police Department said they had been called to the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort – a luxury hotel near Miami Beach – at 12.39am on Monday morning “in reference to a male that jumped from a balcony”.

The statement added that “No foul play is suspected.”

This is the second time that Sabalenka has lost one of those closest to her at an appallingly young age. In 2019, her father Sergey – another former ice-hockey player – passed away at 43 after contracting meningitis.

Forward Koltsov played for the Belarus national team in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics, and spent parts of three seasons with the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins between 2002 and 2006.

Renowned for his speed on the ice, Koltsov won the Russian Super League title with Salavat Yulaev in 2008 and more recently returned to the club as an assistant coach.

Konstantin Koltsov #28 of Belarus skates up ice against Slovakia the IIHF World Men's Championships preliminary round game at Wiener Stadthalle on April 30, 2005 in Vienna, Austria
Koltsov played international ice hockey for Belarus – Getty Images/Doug Benc

“It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that Konstantin Koltsov has passed away,” Salavat Yulaev, which is based in the Russian city of Ufa, said in a statement.

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

“May he rest in peace.”

Sabalenka and Koltsov were first linked in June 2021, according to People magazine, and she has frequently posted photos of them together on her Instagram account.

“I love you @‌koltsov2021,” she wrote in one post that included heart and other emojis.

“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 – who is reported to have had three children from a previous relationship – also applauded Sabalenka after the Belarusian won her second consecutive Australian Open title in January.

Second tragedy to hit Sabalenka

The tragedy of Sabalenka’s father Sergey’s death featured in Netflix’s behind-the-scenes documentary series Break Point. When the second series of Break Point was released in January, the opening episode – entitled “The Curse” – focused on Sabalenka’s victory in the 2023 Australian Open final.

One scene showed her speaking to her mother over the phone, shortly after that match. “Mum, don’t cry, I’m starting to cry, cameras are filming me here,” Sabalenka told her mother. “Mum, don’t start talking about Dad, damn it.”

In a narrative voice-over, Sabalenka then added “My mum, she was crying, saying that ‘your dad would be super proud of you’. It’s really sad because I really want him to be here, I really want to call him and hear what he would say.

“Right now his surname is on that trophy, which means a lot.”

The same relationship had previously featured in season one of Break Point, which saw Sabalenka open up on the impact of her father’s death and explain that she wanted to dedicate her career to his memory.

“I lost my father four years ago. We had one dream, that before 25 I will win a couple of grand slams,” she said.

“When he passed away, I started thinking too much about it. Now I’m 24 and there is zero [slams] in my pocket.”

The first episode of Break Point’s new series was entitled “The Curse” because of the poor performance of the featured players at the 2023 Australian Open. Of the ten chosen by producers, nine failed to reach the second week.

Sabalenka, however, was the exception. She gave the tournament a memorable conclusion by defeating Elena Rybakina in one of the great finals. At the series’ premiere at the start of this year, she joked “What f—— Netflix curse?”

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