Aryna Sabalenka issues first social media statement since death of Konstantin Kolstov

Sabalenka will not speak to the press at the Miami Open

Megan Briggs/GettyImages

World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, 25, is dealing with much more than the standard tournament pressure before her first-round match at the Miami Open. She has the eyes of the world on her as she processes the death by suicide of longtime boyfriend and former professional hockey player Konstantin Kolstov, 42.

Sabalenka has decided to play in the tournament with the caveat that she will not be doing media while playing in Miami. Respecting her privacy is of the utmost importance, something that her close friend Paula Badosa vowed to do when asked about Sabalenka's situation after her first-round win over Simona Help.

Since then, Sabalenka issued her first statement via social media about Kolstov's death. It sheds light on how she is feeling and the status of their relationship when he died.

What Sabalenka said

She wrote: "Konstantin's death is a tragedy, and while we were no longer together, my heart is broken. Please respect my privacy and his family's privacy during this difficult time." Though he was in Miami while she was preparing for the Miami Open, they were no longer a couple.

Kolstov's ex-wife is Julija Milahilova. They broke up in 2020. The couple has three sons together. Sabalenka and Kolstov began dating in 2021. He frequently traveled with her to tournaments. Kolstov is seen in Sabalenka's segments in Season 2 of Netflix's Break Point.

It is a sad ending for Sabalenka who lost her father, Sergey at the age of 43 in 2019. Though she is a fun loving and joyful person, she has dealt with plenty of loss in her private life. Sabalenka will take the court on Friday facing her good friend Paula Badosa in the Miami Open Round of 64 match at a time yet to be determined.

Read more on Lob and Smash