Miami: Aryna Sabalenka wins in all-black fit after ex BF death; no on-court interview

Sabalenka defeated Paula Badosa in her first match since she was hit with a personal tragedy.

by Dzevad Mesic
Miami: Aryna Sabalenka wins in all-black fit after ex BF death; no on-court interview
© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Aryna Sabalenka showed some outstanding mental strength and fortitude on Friday as she started her Miami Open campaign with a notable win over Paula Badosa, just a couple of days after her ex-boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov committed "an apparent suicide" in Miami.

Sabalenka, who was struck by tragedy earlier this week when former Belarusian hockey pro player Koltsov died at 42, had a first-round bye at the tournament before beating former world No. 2 Badosa 6-4 6-3. 

For the Badosa match, world No. 2 Sabalenka came out in an all-black outfit, which wasn't surprising considering what just happened a couple of days earlier. After the match was over, Sabalenka didn't conduct an on-court interview and she also won't be conducting a press conference - something that was agreed on earlier this week. 

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

On Tuesday, it was reported that Koltsov - who started dating Sabalenka in 2021 - suddenly died in Miami. Initially, it was reported that a blood clot issue was the cause of the death. But then, the Miami-Dade Police Department revealed the case was investigated as a suicide, and even more details came out when Sabalenka revealed that they went together anymore. 

How Sabalenka defeated Badosa?

After missing out on two consecutive break points in the fifth game, Sabalenka kept her focus and managed to get the first break of the match two games later. Leading 5-3, the two-time Grand Slam champion didn't convert any of her two set points on Badosa's serve but realized her fourth set point on her own serve in the 10th game. 

Up by a set, Sabalenka also started the second set in a great way, breaking Badosa in the third game. With the Belarusian serving at 4-3 in the second set, the Spaniard had her first break point of the match but didn't convert as the No. 2 seed opened a 5-3 lead. 

In the following game, Badosa got broken again when serving to stay in the match as Sabalenka completed a two-set win. After the match, Sabalenka got a tight hug from Badosa, whom she considers her best friend.

Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa
Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

In the Miami third round, Sabalenka plays against Anhelina Kalinina, who defeated Caroline Wozniacki.

Aryna Sabalenka Paula Badosa