Aryna Sabalenka wins at Miami Open after former partner’s death

World number two Aryna Sabalenka started her Miami Open campaign after an emotional week with a 6-4 6-3 win over close friend Paula Badosa.

Two-time Australian Open champion Sabalenka, 25, played her second-round match four days after the death of former partner Konstantin Koltsov.

Koltsov, an ex-ice hockey player, died in Miami aged 42 in what police described as an “apparent suicide”.

Belarusian Sabalenka plays Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina on Saturday.

On Wednesday Sabalenka said her “heart is broken” after Koltsov’s death and described it as “an unthinkable tragedy”.

Wearing an all-black kit and a cap pulled down low, she looked up to the sky before the pre-match coin toss.

Sabalenka and Spaniard Badosa, who have described themselves as “best friends” on the WTA Tour, shared a long and warm hug at the net after the match.

Their match was one of the first to be completed on Friday after heavy rain disrupted the schedule.

US Open champion Coco Gauff beat Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska 6-1 6-2.

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