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Tennis Star Aryna Sabalenka Breaks Silence on Her NHL Ex-Boyfriend's Death

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Tennis star Aryna Sabalenka broke her silence following the death of her ex-boyfriend, former NHL player Konstantin Koltsov, earlier this week.

“Konstantin’s death is an unthinkable tragedy, and while we were no longer together, my heart is broken,” Sabalenka said in a statement shared on her Instagram story Wednesday (March 20). “Please respect my privacy and his family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Koltsov, 42, a former first-round pick who appeared in 144 total games for the Pittsburgh Penguins, died of an "apparent suicide" at the age of 42 on Monday (March 18), according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report obtained by the New York Post. The retired hockey player was located after Bal Harbour Police and Fire Rescue received a report of "a male that jumped from a balcony" at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.

Sabalenka, 25, the WTA No. 2 overall tennis player and 2024 Australian Open champion, was still believed to be dating Koltsov, a fellow native of Belarus, at the time of his death when both were in South Florida. The tennis star is still scheduled to compete in the Miami Open this week.

The Penguins released a statement following news of Koltsov's death on Tuesday (March 19).

"The Penguins extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Penguins forward, Konstantin Koltsov," the team said in a statement shared on its social media accounts. "The native of Belarus was the Penguins' first-round draft choice in 1999 and was with the team from 2003-06, playing 144 NHL games. Konstantin was a teammate of both Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux during the 2005-06 season."

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