National Sports Briefs
NEW YORK ó Rafael Nadal stepped out of the players’ cafeteria at the U.S. Open a little before 3 p.m. Friday and pressed his face against a window, cupping his hands around his eyes as he scanned the soaked tournament grounds.
Yep, it was still pouring.
And he, like everyone else, was still waiting.
Rain threw the U.S. Open into disarray for the second consecutive year, meaning both singles finals will be pushed back again, and the tournament will end Monday at the earliest.
“There are some unknowns here,” U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said.
A mix of showers and mist forced postponement of all of Friday’s three scheduled singles matches. That included six-time major champion Nadal’s quarterfinal against No. 11-seeded Fernando Gonzalez, a match already suspended Thursday night because of showers after Nadal won the first set in a tiebreaker and led 3-2 in the second-set tiebreaker.
Also delayed: The two women’s semifinals, one between defending champion Serena Williams and 2005 champion Kim Clijsters, the other between Caroline Wozniacki and Yanina Wickmayer.
LEMONT, Ill. ó Tiger Woods and Mark Wilson were in a tie for the lead Friday at the BMW Championship, two players who have every reason to feel right at home at Cog Hill.
One practices here all the time. The other seems to win here all the time.Woods made two solid par saves from deep bunkers early in his round, ran off three straight birdies at the turn and cashed in on enough good shots for a 4-under 67 to put him atop the leaderboard for the first time since the PGA Championship.
Woods is a four-time winner at Cog Hill, including his most recent appearance two years ago in the BMW Championship
– GREENSBURG, Pa. ó After 35 years, Steve Blass got his control back. Trouble is, it was the wrong game.
The former Pittsburgh Pirates World Series star pitcher, whose career ended in 1974 when he inexplicably lost his ability to throw the ball over the plate, made two holes-in-one in a span of 11 holes during the team’s annual alumni golf outing.
RICHMOND, Va. ó Carl Edwards grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick on pit road with 24 laps to go Friday night and won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond.
The victory finished off a remarkable race for Edwards, who had to start at the back of the field after his team made adjustments to his Ford after the field was impounded.
Harvick finished second, followed by Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and David Reutimann.
The victory allowed Edwards to gain 20 points on Busch in the standings, but he still trails by 201 points with eight races remaining, and Busch would have to falter badly.
– RICHMOND, Va. ó Mark Martin’s final push for a spot in NASCAR’s Chase for the championship will start from the best spot in the field tonight.
Martin turned a lap of 126.808 mph in qualifying Friday night at Richmond International Raceway, edging Martin Truex Jr., whose lap came at 126.731 mph.
Martin’s sixth pole of the season matched his career best, set 20 years ago in 1989.
Martin will start the race 10th in driver points ó just one ahead of 11th-place Greg Biffle, 49 ahead of Matt Kenseth and 69 ahead of Brian Vickers, who is 13th.
BRISTOL, Conn.ó New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is confirming that he and model Gisele Bundchen are expecting a baby.
– ALAMEDA, Calif. ó The Oakland Raiders reportedly sent defensive lineman Richard Seymour a letter giving him until Tuesday to report to the team or face a possible season-long suspension.
HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ó Michael Jordan, often considered the best player ever, has been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.
Jordan cried at the start of his speech Friday night, then entertained the crowd at Springfield’s Symphony Hall with stories of how opponents, coaches, and the media challenged him to become of the greats of the game.