Paula Badosa will face a draining emotional challenge when she takes to the court against grieving Aryna Sabalenka at the Miami Masters on Friday four days after the apparent suicide of Sabalenka’s boyfriend.

Former hockey player Konstantin Koltsov reportedly fell to his death from a Miami hotel balcony, with police investigating the tragedy and treating it as a suicide.

World No. 2 Sabalenka was seen on the practice court a day later, with the player still entered in the ATP-WTA event and set to face Spain’s Badosa in the second round.

Badosa defeated former No. 1 Simona Halep in a first-round match on Tuesday and did not wish to speak of her looming match with her tennis friend.

 ‘I mean, I don’t want to talk about it. But of course. As I said before, she’s one of my best friends,” the Spaniard told local media.

Badosa added: “Yesterday I spoke with her a lot of time. This morning the same. 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… 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.’

The pair have split four matches, with Sabalenka winning their last two played in consecutive years on Stuttgart indoor clay.

The tragedy is not the first for Sabalenka, who lost her father at age 43 five years ago.

Main photo:- Paola Badosa, with her current partner Stefanos Tsitsipas, spent a long time on the phone with grief stricken next opponent Aryna Sabalenka