Aryna Sabalenka Opponent Paula Badosa Says Match Will Be ‘Uncomfortable’ After Boyfriend’s Death

Sabalenka and Badosa are long-term friends and have played doubles together on tour. Paula Badosa says it will be “uncomfortable” playing “best friend” Aryna Sabalenka this week, following the death of Sabalenka’s boyfriend.

Konstantin Koltsov, a former ice hockey player, died at the age of 42 in Miami on Monday in what police have described as an “apparent suicide”.

World number two Sabalenka is still set to play in the Miami Open this week and will meet Badosa in the second round.

“It’s a very tough situation,” the Spaniard said.

“Yesterday I spoke with her. This morning the same.

“I know the entire situation, what is happening.

“That for me is a little bit shocking also to go through that because at the end she’s my best friend and I don’t want her to suffer. It’s a very tough situation.”

Koltsov represented Belarus at the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics and also spent three years in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said “no foul play is suspected” following the announcement of his death.

“Playing against her, it’s also uncomfortable,” Badosa, who beat Simona Halep on the Romanian’s return after a doping ban on Tuesday, added.

“But I don’t really want to talk about it because I said I’m not going to talk about it.

“She’s my best friend and I promised that. She’s a strong woman. I think she will get the power from somewhere. I hope it’s going to be a battle, a good match.”

Source: BBC Sports

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