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Raonic wins, Sock loses in first round at Toronto

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TORONTO — Canada’s Milos Raonic got off to a strong start at the Rogers Cup, beating David Goffin of Belgium 6-3, 6-4 on Monday.

Raonic, who has fallen from No. 3 to No. 30 due to numerous injuries the past sto seasons – including a quad tear at Wimbledon last month – used his powerful serve to his advantage, firing 13 aces to Goffin’s two and won 100 percent of his first serves.

“I think I can still serve much better, I don’t think I served particularly well,” Raonic said. “So I’ll take the time to work on some things tomorrow but overall it was a good performance. Mentally I was in the right state of mind the whole way through and I was very disciplined with myself.”

He will next play the winner of a match between American Frances Tiafoe and Italy’s Marco Cecchinato.

Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev upset 13th-seeded American Jack Sock 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in another first round match on a day play was interrupted for three hours due to rain.

In doubles, Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson defeated Canadian teens Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-2.

Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime started the match strong before Djokovic and Anderson took control. They broke Anderson’s serve for a 2-0 lead, to the delight of a tightly packed grandstand crowd. However, the Wimbledon finalists team – nicknamed Djokerson thanks to a Twitter poll conducted by Djokovic earlier in the day – broke back to tie the match 2-2, and again to go up 5-3.

Anderson and Djokovic won five straight games, going up two breaks, to win the second set.

“Our game was there, we didn’t feel intimidated at all,” the 19-year-old Shapovalov said.

“Just to have a chance to play with these guys is already good,” added Auger-Aliassime, who won’t turn 18 until later this week.

In other singles matches, American Bradley Klahn topped Spain’s David Ferrer 7-6, 6-4; Pierre-Hughes Herbert of France got past Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Benoit Paire of France defeated Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-4; Ilya Ivashka of Belarus beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-2, 6-3; and Borna Coric of Croatia was a 6-4, 6-3 winnner over Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the late match on center court.

Also, 30-year-old Canadian Peter Polansky, a wild card entry playing in the morning draw, defeated Matthew Ebden of Australia 7-6 (3), 6-4. He will play the winner of a match between Djokovic and Hyeon Chung of South Korea in the second round.

Bencic beats 2-time defending champ Svitolina in Dubai semi

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Unseeded Belinda Bencic stopped Elina Svitolina’s bid for a third consecutive title at the Dubai Championships by beating her 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the semifinals Friday.

The 45th-ranked Bencic won her third match in a row against a top-10 opponent and will face yet another, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, in Saturday’s final at the hard-court tournament.

Kvitova advanced to her third final of 2019 by edging Hsieh Su-wei 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The No. 2-seeded Kvitova picked up her tour-high 17th victory of 2019.

Bencic is seeking her third career title, Kvitova her 27th.

Against No. 6 seed Svitolina, Bencic trailed 5-3 in the third set. This was her latest in a string of comebacks. She saved six match points against eighth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, then erased a set deficit to beat third-seeded Simona Halep in the quarterfinals.

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Bencic upsets Halep to reach Dubai semifinals

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Unseeded Belinda Bencic rallied to beat second-ranked Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.

Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalize on an early break in the first set but Halep continued to struggle with her serve and was broken seven times in total. Bencic broke for a 5-4 lead in the second and then raced out to a 3-0 lead in the decider, having won six games in a row. Halep, who was playing her ninth match in 13 days after reaching the final in Qatar last week, got one break back but Bencic broke again for a 5-2 lead before converting her third match point.

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova had no such problems, winning the last eight games to oust Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 to book her spot in the last four. Kvitova, the 2013 Dubai champion, needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the win. She will next face Su-wei Hsieh of Taiwan, who came from 5-1 down in the final set to beat fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. It was the latest upset for Hsieh, who ousted Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.

In the final quarterfinal, Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain was playing Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

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