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.

French players get life bans for fixing

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LONDON — Two low-ranked French players were banned from the sport for life after being found guilty of match-fixing by a hearing officer.

Jules Okala, a 25-year-old with a career-best ATP ranking of No. 338, and Mick Lescure, a 29-year-old with a top ranking of No. 487, “admitted multiple charges,” the International Tennis Integrity Agency announced.

Neither player is allowed to compete at – or even attend – any sanctioned event again.

Okala was found guilty of seven match-fixing charges and fined $15,000 in addition to the permanent suspension. Lescure was found guilty of eight charges and fined $40,000 on top of the ban.

The punishments come after both players were involved in law enforcement investigations in France and Belgium, according to the sport’s integrity agency.

Ash Barty wins Australia’s top sports award for second time

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Ash Barty’s Australian Open singles title in January was enough to ensure the former top-ranked player won Australia’s most prestigious annual sports award — despite retiring from the game less than two months later.

Barty has been given The Don Award, named after its most accomplished and famous cricketer Don Bradman.

Barty shocked the tennis world in March when she announced her retirement at the age of 25. The three-time major winner was the No. 1-ranked female player at the time of her retirement decision.

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s Don Award is given to an athlete or a team “which has provided the most inspiration to the country through performance and example in the past year.”

Barty (2019, 2022) joins Olympic gold medal-winning hurdler Sally Pearson (2012, 2014) and Olympic champion pole vaulter Steve Hooker (2008, 2009) as a multiple winner of the award.

Barty said she had decided before the Australian Open started that it would be her last major tournament.

“This year was certainly my most enjoyable Australian Open . . . because it felt free,” Barty said in a television interview. “I played without consequence, I played like a little kid. In my eyes, there was no pressure. It was just about me trying to redeem myself, in a way, and playing how I’d always wanted to play – go out there and play like the kid that fell in love with sport.”

Barty said she has no plans to return to tennis.

“In my mind there was never going to be a perfect ending, but it was my perfect ending,” Barty said of her retirement. “It was never about finishing on a win or on a really high emotional feeling. It was just about collectively, I felt it was right.

“Now (that decision) has led to nine months of just an incredible life off the court. It’s been amazing.”

Barty married her long-time partner Garry Kissick in late July. She also golfs frequently and is reported to be playing off a handicap of low single figures.