Konstantin Koltsov, partner of tennis star Aryna Sabalenka, dies suddenly aged 42

The pair have been linked together since 2021 (@sabalenka_aryna)
The pair have been linked together since 2021 (@sabalenka_aryna)

World no2 Aryna Sabalenka’s boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov has died suddenly at the age of 42 in Miami.

Two-time Australian Open champion Sabalenka is scheduled to play at the Miami Open on Friday but it is unclear now if she will compete in the main draw.

She had been linked with the former ice hockey player, who played in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2002 and 2006 and was part of the Belarus national team, since June 2021.

The news was confirmed by Russian ice hockey side Salavat Yulaev where he had worked as an assistant coach.

In a statement, it said: “It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that the coach of Salavat Yulaev, Konstantin Koltsov, has passed away.

“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_aryna/ Instagram)
(@sabalenka_aryna/ Instagram)

During his playing days, he won the Russian Super League title with the club and recently returned there in a coaching capacity.

He was a regular supporter for Sabalenka’s matches, in the stands for her Australian Open triumph back in January.

The tragedy comes just a few years after the player’s father, Sergey, died suddenly at the age of 43. She has talked how his passing had become a major motivating factor in her future success at the top of the game.

It is believed that Koltsov is survived by three children from a previous relationship.