Aryna Sabalenka SMASHES her racquet and doesn’t shake Ukrainian rival Anhelina Kalinina’s hand as she exits Miami Open in a fit of rage following the tragic death of her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov

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Written By Maya Cantina

Aryna Sabalenka was overcome with emotion after she was dumped out of the Miami Open by Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina – just days after the death of her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov.

When her return went wide to hand Kalinina the match, the 25-year-old Belarusian bowed her head, took a few steps then flew into a rage – venting her frustration by smashing her racquet to pieces. She then turned and walked off court without shaking the Ukrainian’s hand. 

The world No 2 won on her return to the court following the tragedy, overcoming close friend Paula Badosa in straight sets on Friday. 

But Sabalenka saw a difficult week come to an end as she was beaten 6-4 1-6 6-1 by No 32 seed Kalinina in the third round on Saturday.

She appeared to have little left in the tank physically, mentally or emotionally for a late night battle with Ukrainian Kalinina.

Aryna Sabalenka was beaten in three sets by Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina at the Miami Open

The 25-year-old Belarusian left the court in a fit of rage, after smashing her racquet to pieces

The 25-year-old Belarusian left the court in a fit of rage, after smashing her racquet to pieces

The world No 2 was beaten 6-4 1-6 6-1 by the No 32 seed in the third round on Saturday

Sabalenka was back on court days after the death of her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov

Sabalenka was back on court days after the death of her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov

‘It’s always tough to play on big stages against these top players,’ Kalinina said afterwards. ‘Today was really tough with nerves but I managed in the tough moments to deal with it.’

It was initially believed that Koltsov, who shared three children with ex-wife Julija Mikhailova, had joined his girlfriend in the city as she prepared for the tournament this month.

On Wednesday, however, Sabalenka claimed their relationship had already come to an end while breaking her silence on the ‘unthinkable tragedy’ of his death. 

Koltsov’s ex-wife Mikhailova told media in Belarus that he was ‘very likely drunk’ when he fell from the hotel balcony.

The Miami-Dade Police Department has taken over the investigation into the suspected suicide, but in an interview with media in her native Belarus, Mikhailova gave her view on what might have happened.

She has claimed that her ex-husband ‘was very likely drunk’ before the fatal fall, and while she says booze bottles were found in his hotel room, officers were unable to locate a suicide note. She also says his recent behaviour indicated, in her view, that he was not preparing to take his own life.

Bal Harbour Police and Fire Rescue were dispatched to the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in reference to a man who fell from a balcony at 12.39am ET Monday, according to investigators.

Koltsov (pictured) died aged 42 on Monday after falling from a hotel balcony in Miami

Koltsov (pictured) died aged 42 on Monday after falling from a hotel balcony in Miami

Koltsov played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and represented Belarus at two Winter Olympics

Koltsov played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and represented Belarus at two Winter Olympics

In a statement on Wednesday Sabalenka claimed their relationship had already come to an end while breaking her silence on the 'unthinkable tragedy'

In a statement on Wednesday Sabalenka claimed their relationship had already come to an end while breaking her silence on the ‘unthinkable tragedy’ 

Reports from his native Belarus had initially claimed that Kolstov had died of a ‘detached blood clot’.

Koltsov, who played hockey for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, was confirmed dead by his former club Salavat Yulaev Ufa on social messaging site Telegram on Tuesday.

‘It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that the coach of Salavat Yulaev, Konstantin Koltsov, has passed away,’ the Russian club’s statement read.

Koltsov and Sabalenka were first linked in June 2021 and the two-time Australian Open winner has frequently posted photos of them together on her Instagram account.

Miami Police say the Belarusian former professional hockey player fell to his death at the St Regis Bal Harbour Resort

Miami Police say the Belarusian former professional hockey player fell to his death at the St Regis Bal Harbour Resort

The two-time Australian Open winner frequently posted photos of them together online

The two-time Australian Open winner frequently posted photos of them together online

Koltsov is believed to have three sons from his previous relationship with his ex-wife Yulia, named Daniel, Alexander and Stefan.

The tragedy comes not long after Sabalenka lost her father under similarly upsetting circumstances.

The player’s late father Sergey – who was also a former professional ice hockey player – died suddenly in 2019 at the age of just 43.

Kolstov spent parts of three seasons in Pittsburgh from 2002 and 2006 after being selected by the Penguins with the No 18 overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft.

For support call Samaritans on 116123 in the UK or visit www.samaritans.org or www.thecalmzone.net/get-support, or call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline on 988 in the US.

UkraineAryna Sabalenka

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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