Nadal broken, not beaten, at U.S. Open
Tennis: It did not take long for Rafael Nadal to put a slightly slow start behind him and move one step closer to the only Grand Slam title he hasn’t won.
The top-seeded Nadal figured out how to handle the wind that’s plagued the tournament, got his serve in gear after being broken for the only time in five matches, and beat No. 8 Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 Thursday night in the first all-Spanish quarterfinal in U.S. Open history.
Nadal is headed to a third consecutive semifinal at Flushing Meadows. On Saturday, Nadal, trying to complete a career Grand Slam at age 24, will face 12th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia for a spot in the final.
Youzhny needed treatment on his right foot in the fifth set but still managed to come back and beat No. 25 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 3-6, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in four hours earlier Thursday.
Eventful day for Brady: Wreck, deal
NFL: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s day ended better than it started.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP was involved in a two-vehicle accident near his home Thursday morning, and later in the day there was a report he had agreed to a lucrative contract extension.
Two sources said Brady’s four-year extension would make him the league’s highest-paid player. The deal is worth an average of $18 million per year, with $48.5 million guaranteed, and begins in 2011.
Earlier Thursday, Brady was involved in a crash at an intersection. A witness said Brady was approaching the intersection on a green light when his sedan collided with a minivan. The driver of the minivan, Ludgero Rodrigues, 21, was cited for failing to stop at a red light.
• Cowboys reward Austin: The Dallas Cowboys and Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin agreed to a six-year extension through the 2016 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Packers extend Woodson: Green Bay signed cornerback Charles Woodson to a contract extension through the 2014 season that will allow him to retire with the team. Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner, signed a five-year contract with the Packers that is worth as much as $55 million, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press.
Kuchar leads BMW; Tiger struggles
Golf: Already having his best season, Matt Kuchar got off to his best start of the year in the BMW Championship in Lemont, Ill. A mystery season for Tiger Woods took another unexpected turn.
Kuchar, who won the opening FedEx Cup playoff event to position himself for the $10 million bonus, finished with an 18-foot birdie putt for a 7-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Ryan Moore.
Woods wound up with a 73 to leave himself in a big hole as he tries to advance to the final stage of the playoffs in Atlanta.
March Madness will start at Dayton
College basketball: The University of Dayton will host all four opening-round games of the newly expanded men’s basketball tournament next March, the NCAA announced.
Two games will match the tournament’s lowest seeds, Nos. 65 through 68, with the winners advancing as No. 16 seeds to play a top seed. The other two games will match the last four of the 37 at-large qualifiers.
• NCAA talks to Tennessee: A person familiar with the situation says the NCAA has talked to Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl and an assistant about possible violations in the program. The NCAA is looking into possible excessive contact with recruits, the person told the AP.
NCAA investigating South Carolina
Miscellany: South Carolina received formal notification that the NCAA is investigating its football program. The letter of inquiry doesn’t specify any potential violations, but could signal weeks or months of uncertainty for the team.
The NCAA has questioned tight end Weslye Saunders about an agent-hosted party in Miami. Saunders and left tackle Jarriel King were among several players asked to move out of a Columbia hotel after questions were raised over unpaid bills and the rates the players were being charged.
• IndyCar drops two races: The IndyCar Series has ended its six-year run at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, dropping the race from the 2011 schedule. The IndyCar Series also dropped Homestead-Miami Speedway from the 2011 schedule, which will be released today.
• Semenya wins in Milan: Caster Semenya returned to form by winning the 800 meters in 1 minute, 58.16 seconds at the Notturna di Milano meet in Milan, her last race before the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.