Aryna Sabalenka speaks on social media

Sabalenka thanks fans for concern and support during 'difficult time'

Robert Prange/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Tennis fans miss the sunny demeanor of 25-year-old two-time Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka. She was so happy after defending her title in Melbourne in January, but things changed last month in Miami. At the Miami Open, she wore black and shielded herself with an uncharacteristic baseball cap during her practice sessions and Round of 64 loss to Paula Badosa.

Sabalenka understandably is having a hard time. Her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov committed suicide in Miami on March 18 reportedly jumping off the balcony of his hotel as she was getting set to play in the Miami Open. (When news broke on the incident, fans still believed the pair were dating; it is unclear when they broke up.)

She played in the tournament but declined to do press. Only through social media are we hearing her voice these days. She shared a message of gratitude to her supporters and fans on Monday night.

What Sabalenka wrote

Posting a photo on Instagram of the sun peeking through the clouds over water, she wrote: “I want to take a moment to say thank you to all my fans for your outpouring love and support during this difficult time. Your kind words mean so much and I carry them with me every day. I am so grateful for you all.”

Playing tennis at a favorite tennis court could be therapeutic for Sabalenka. She is scheduled to play at the 2024 Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany beginning April 15. Sabalenka has been a finalist at this event for the past three years. Maybe she will finally win the car this year so we can see that joyful smile and laugh from her and a reprieve from her grief.

The Stuttgart draw is competitive with all four current Grand Slam champions including Iga Swiatek, Markta Vondrosouva, Coco Gauff, and Sabalenka.

Read more on Lob and Smash

manual