Badosa on friend Sabalenka’s tragedy: “I think she will get the power from somewhere.”


Paula Badosa’s Miami Open draw is challenging in many different ways. Not only are the Spaniard’s first two opponent former top-ranked players, but the clashes carry substantial emotional weight.

In her opener, Badosa faced Simona Halep, who was making a highly anticipated return to tennis following a doping ban. The world No.80 Badosa triumphed in this challenging encounter, setting the stage for her next match against Aryna Sabalenka. However, the upcoming clash with the second seed is imbued with profound emotion as the Belarusian is coping with the sudden and tragic loss of her longtime boyfriend, Konstantin Koltsov.

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka

Despite the competitive nature of tennis, Badosa and Sabalenka share a deep bond as best friends, doubles partners, even soulmates. Their scheduled second-round clash at the Miami Open on Friday is expected to be a difficult and emotionally charged affair, with Sabalenka mourning her partner’s passing and Badosa navigating the complexities of playing against a close friend in such circumstances.

All eyes will be on Sabalenka as the media continues to seek clarity regarding the tragic passing of her 42-year-old boyfriend. Initial reports quickly dismissed foul play, but the circumstances surrounding his death have been the subject of evolving speculation. While early reports indicated a possible cause of death as a blood clot, subsequent information suggested that he may have taken his own life by jumping from their Miami hotel’s balcony. The latest insights, stemming from Koltsov’s ex-wife, suggest that he may have been intoxicated and accidentally fallen from the balcony.

Badosa’s deep concern for Sabalenka’s well-being is palpable, as she has had multiple conversations with her close friend since the tragic event. Reflecting on the situation, Badosa expressed her shock and sadness, emphasizing the difficulty of witnessing Sabalenka’s pain. “It’s a very tough situation,” Badosa remarked.

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka hug

The Spaniard further shared her feelings about the upcoming match, acknowledging the discomfort of competing against her dear friend in such trying circumstances. Despite the challenge, Badosa made a conscious decision to respect their friendship by refraining from discussing the situation further. She expressed confidence in Sabalenka’s strength, believing that she will find the inner fortitude to cope with her loss: “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.”

As the match approaches, both players are likely to draw strength from their bond and mutual respect. Their head-to-head record stands at an even 2-2, with Sabalenka winning their most recent encounters in 2022 and 2023.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Two days after Koltsov’s passing, Aryna Sabalenka makes a shocking revelation that he was actually her ex-boyfriend at the time of the tragedy.


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