Aryna Sabalenka - Australian Open 2024

Aryna Sabalenka struck by tragedy as former NHL star boyfriend takes own life

WTA world number two Aryna Sabalenka has been struck by personal tragedy with the news that her boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov has passed away.

Koltsov, a former NHL player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was just 42 and understood to be in Florida supporting Sabalenka at the Miami Open, where it has appeared he has taken his own life.

Since retiring from playing in 2016, Koltsov had been working at KHL club Salavat Yulaev as an assistant coach, and it was them who confirmed the awful news on Tuesday.

“It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that the coach of Salavat Yulaev, Konstantin Koltsov, has passed away,” the club announced 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.”

Koltsov and Sabalenka made their relationship public in 2021, with the tennis star saying on social media that it was ‘good there is someone who is able to understand my madness.’

A Miami-Dade Police statement has reported it as suicide, saying that Kolstov jumped from a balcony.

“According to investigators on Monday, March 18, 2024, at approximately 12 : 39 a.m., 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 statement read.

“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.”

It’s sadly not the first time that Sabalenka has been struck by tragedy, with her father also suddenly passing away just five years ago at a similar age to Koltsov.

Aryna Sabalenka is the second seed in Miami, although she is now expected to withdraw from the event.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.