World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka returned to social media this week to thank fans for their "love and support" following the death of her ex-boyfriend, former NHL hockey player Konstantin Koltsov, late last month.

"I want to take a moment to say thank you to all my fans for your outpouring [of] love and support during this difficult time," Sabalenka wrote in a statement on her Instagram stories on Monday.

"Your kind words mean so much and I carry them with me every day. I am so grateful for you all."

The statement is Sabalenka's second in the aftermath Koltsov's death on March 18, in what Miami-Dade police reported as "an apparent suicide." On March 20, the Belarusian requested privacy amid the “unthinkable tragedy," and confirmed that though she and Koltsov were no longer together at the time of his death, her "heart [was] broken."


Sabalenka subsequently remained entered at the WTA 1000 Miami Open—which was being played at the same time—though she did not meet the media for either press conferences or on-court interviews during the tournament. She defeated good friend Paula Badosa in her opening match, played on March 22, and lost to Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina in the third round a day later.

The Australian Open champion is expected to return to action at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart to kick off her spring clay-court season. The WTA 500 event begins on April 15, and she was a finalist there in each of the last three years.