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Ex-NHL player Koltsov, boyfriend of Sabalenka, dead at 42: federation

Konstantin Koltsov, the boyfriend of two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Aryna Sabalenka and a former ice hockey player, has died aged 42, the Belarusian hockey federation said on Tuesday.

In a short statement, the federation said that Koltsov “died suddenly”, without saying how or where he died.

“We are in mourning,” the federation said on its website.

“The Belarusian Hockey Federation expresses its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and everyone who knew and worked with Konstantin.”

Koltsov’s playing career included a stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL, where he made 144 appearances between 2003 and 2006.

“The Penguins extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Penguins forward, Konstantin Koltsov,” the team said in a statement.

He also played for Belarus at two Olympic Games – Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010 — as well as nine world championships.

He had three children with his wife Julia whom he divorced in 2020 before he began a relationship with Sabalenka.

There was no immediate reaction from the 25-year-old Sabalenka, the world number two, who is scheduled to play at the Miami Open this week.

The Belarusian won the Australian Open in 2023 and retained her Melbourne title earlier this year.

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