Tennis: A year after skipping the U.S. Open because of a bad knee, Rafael Nadal powered his way back to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in New York, overwhelming Tommy Robredo 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday night.
“I think I played my best match at the U.S. Open this year. Great to be able to play your best match in the quarterfinals,” Nadal said. “Playing a little better every day is a great feeling.”
On Saturday, Nadal will face No. 8 Richard Gasquet, who edged No. 4 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3.
That one took nearly 3 1/2 hours and allowed Gasquet to reach his first major semifinal in six years. For the women, No. 2 Victoria Azarenka and Flavia Pennetta won their quarterfinal matches.
Boise, Vancouver will play for NWL title
Baseball: Vancouver and Boise advanced past the first round of the Northwest League playoffs and will play each other in the three-game championship series. Vancouver beat Everett 11-4 and Boise beat Salem-Keizer 11-7. The first game will be Saturday.
Former football players sue NCAA
College football: Three former college football players are suing the NCAA, saying it failed to educate them about the risks of concussions and did not do enough to prevent, diagnose and treat brain injuries.
Chris Walker and Ben Martin, who played for Tennessee from 2007-2011, and Dan Ahern, who played for North Carolina State from 1972-76, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The complaint alleges the NCAA failed to meet its obligation to former players and because of its neglect the players are “suffering the dramatic consequences.” The lawsuit seeks the NCAA to fund a medical-monitoring program for former football players.
• NCAA investigating West Texas A&M program: West Texas A&M’s athletic director Michael McBroom said the NCAA is investigating after the Canyon, Texas, university reported violations found during an internal audit of the football program.
A person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said the audit revealed as many as eight secondary violations during last season. In one instance a former assistant football coach asked a player to allow an incoming player to sleep on his couch for three or four nights until the dorms opened up, the source said.
Portland Thorns say thanks to their fans
Soccer: After just one season, the Portland Thorns have something that their male counterparts, the Timbers, still covet: a championship.
The Thorns celebrated the first National Women’s Soccer League championship with more than 500 fans at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland.
• Spanish judge rules Messi should not post bail: A Spanish court declined a request by the State Agency for Tax Administration to set bail for Lionel Messi and his father in a case of alleged tax fraud after ruling that a payment made satisfied the case’s legal requirements.
A Catalan court said that a payment of more than $6.6 million made by Jorge Horacio Messi, the Barcelona star’s father, made it unlikely that either Messi or his father would withhold funds “during the legal process of a pending tax fraud trial.”
The complaint, originally lodged by Raquel Amado, a state prosecutor for the northeastern region of Catalonia, alleged Messi tried to conceal the extent of his earnings and he owes $5.3 million in back taxes.
• Sporting KC loans Dwyer to Orlando City SC: Sporting Kansas City agreed to loan forward Dom Dwyer back to its USL Pro affiliate Orlando City SC for its championship game against Charlotte on Saturday.
Spieth, Simpson picked by Couples
Golf: Jordan Spieth started the season without status on any tour. He ends it by going to the Presidents Cup.
Fred Couples used his captain’s picks on the 20-year-old Spieth and Webb Simpson to fill out the 12-man American team. Spieth is the youngest American to play in the Presidents Cup. The Presidents Cup is Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. The Americans have a 7-1-1 lead in the series. Their only loss was in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.
Cancellara wins Vuelta stage
Cycling: In Tarazona, Spain, Fabian Cancellara, of Switzerland, won the 11th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, while Vincenzo Nibali, of Italy, took the overall leader’s jersey.
Cancellara, with Radioshack-Leopard, tore around the 24-mile route to beat Tony Martin of Germany by 37 seconds.
IndyCar may add Indy road race
Auto racing: IndyCar is considering adding a road race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as soon as next year. Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co., said the event could be held in May, the same month as the Indianapolis 500.
• Dixon expects fine for criticizing IndyCar: Scott Dixon expects to be fined by IndyCar for calling for race director Beaux Barfield to be fired.
Dixon said he was frustrated following two consecutive races of inconsistency from IndyCar race control. He said he was upset Sunday in Baltimore when officials ignored a Chip Ganassi Racing request to tow his car back to pit lane.
Tamarando wins Del Mar Futurity
Horse racing: Tamarando rallied for a victory in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity for 2-year-olds on closing day of the summer meet at the seaside track in Del Mar, Calif.