Paula Badosa talks 'uncomfortable' situation after Aryna Sabalenka's ex-BF suicide

Sabalenka set to play in Miami despite the boyfriend's tragic death and her opening opponent will be Badosa.

by Dzevad Mesic
Paula Badosa talks 'uncomfortable' situation after Aryna Sabalenka's ex-BF suicide
© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

Paula Badosa confirmed that she spoke with Aryna Sabalenka and indicated that she knows all the details regarding the death of Konstantin Koltsov but underlined that there was no way she would reveal anything to the public. 

At the start of this week, the death of 42-year-old Koltsov - who started dating Sabalenka since 2021 - drew lots of attention and since it happened in Miami, it also drew negative attention to the Miami Open. When the Miami-Dade Police Department revealed in a statement that Koltsov's happened with the former Belarusian hockey star jumping off the balcony in Miami, the whole situation became even uglier. 

On Tuesday, the confirmation came that Sabalenka would play in Miami but that she would not be holding press conferences or speaking with reporters. 

The following day, Sabalenka issued her first statement, revealing that she and Koltsov were no longer dating but still describing his death as "an unthinkable tragedy." Also, Sabalenka said her heart was "broken."

On Tuesda, Badosa - who calls Sabalenka her best friend - defeated Simona Halep 1-6 6-4 6-3 to set up a Miami second-round meeting against the second-seeded Belarusian, who had a first-round bye.

"I mean, I don't want to talk about it. But of course. As I said before, she's one of my best friends. Yesterday I spoke with her a lot of time. This morning the same," Badosa said. 

"So I know what she's going through. 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.

"At the same point playing against her, it's also uncomfortable. Yeah, 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. I'm going to stay like this. Sorry."

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka
Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Badosa on playing Sabalenka after the tragic situation: Uncomfortable 

While Badosa, 26, and 25-year-old Sabalenka have a very close relationship, the Spanish tennis star admits that it will be "uncomfortable" playing against her best friend in these circumstances. Also, former world No. 2 Badosa admitted that she has also been impacted by this situation since Sabalenka is her best friend and she feels for the Belarusian and what she is going through at this moment. 

"I don't really know what to say. I mean, she's one of my best friends. Of course, I know what she's going through. Honestly, for me hasn't been easy, too," Badosa noted. 

"I really don't know what to say, honestly. 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, and let's see."

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

Badosa on what she expects against Sabalenka

When Badosa and Sabalenka meet in Miami on Friday, it will be the fifth time that they are going up against each other. 

In 2021, Badosa won a thriller first meeting against Sabalenka in Cincinnati 5-7 6-2 7-6 (4) before also defeating the Belarusian 6-4 6-0 at the WTA Finals later that season. After ending on the losing side in the first two matches against Badosa, the world No. 2 got her revenge, beating the Spaniard in the 2022 Stuttgart semifinal 7-6 (5) 6-4 and also claiming a 4-6 6-4 6-4 win in the 2022 Stuttgart quarterfinal. 

Considering that Badosa and Sabalenka have played against each other a couple of times and that they often practice together, there won't be any elements of surprise as they know each other's games extremely well. With that being said, the Spaniard believes it will come down to who does better in the key moments.

"Yeah, I mean, we know each other very well. I know what she's going to do. She knows what I'm going to do. Nothing will surprise us," Badosa added.

"I think that kind of match is who is playing better in that moment and who goes for the shots in important moments. I think when you play against players that we know each other very well, it's going to be that, the key points, how we play in that moment, how we feel physically and mentally. 

"I think it's going to be that kind of match. Hopefully goes on my side."

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka
Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Christian Kaspar-Bartke

Predicting the Badosa and Sabalenka match is extremely tricky as it could be a very emotional match. Also, nobody knows Sabalenka's real state at the moment as many things will be clearer when the 25-year-old hits the court and the match against Badosa starts. 

In the past, Badosa had wins over Sabalenka and there is no doubt that the Spanish former world No. 2 will definitely have her chances against the two-time Australian Open champion if she plays her tennis. 

Paula Badosa Aryna Sabalenka