Earnhardt gets win in No. 3 Chevy
Rafael Nadal beat Andy Murray and next faces Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon final. Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Berdych followed up his quarterfinal upset of six-time champion Federer by ousting No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-3 on Friday.
This will be Nadal’s 10th Grand Slam final, Berdych’s first. Might Berdych feel some pressure because of that?
“I hope so,” Nadal said with a smile, “but I don’t think so.”
Nadal repeatedly sprinted from one corner to another, tracking down strokes that would be clean winners against anyone else. A few times, members of the eager-to-roar crowd would applaud, thinking Murray won a point, only to be hushed by other spectators as play carried on.
When Nadal won two points in a row early in the second set with superb defense, Murray put his palms up as if to ask, “How many great shots do I need to hit?”
“His backhand’s good. His serve’s good. His forehand’s good. His movement is good,” Murray said afterward. “He does everything really, really well.”
Nadal is 7-3 against Berdych, including six consecutive victories.
But the 24-year-old Berdych never has played with the confidence and patience he’s displayed while becoming the first Czech man to reach the Wimbledon men’s final since Ivan Lendl in 1987.
He was broken only once against Djokovic, displaying the same booming serve and forehand that carried Berdych to the French Open semifinals a month ago and past Federer on Wednesday.
“I’m looking forward to the next one,” Berdych said, “and definitely not (fearing) anybody.”
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The No. 3 went back to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway, where Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove a car that honored his late father to his first NASCAR victory in more than three years.
Earnhardt, winless in any NASCAR points race since a Sprint Cup victory at Michigan in 2008, took the lead on pit road under caution with 26 laps to go Friday night in the Nationwide Series race. Running a No. 3 Chevrolet with a Wrangler paint scheme to honor his father’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Earnhardt brought his fans to their feet for the final sprint to the checkered flag.
Paul Menard’s wreck with four laps to go put the outcome in jeopardy, and Earnhardt, the leader, decided not to pit under the caution. On old tires, he had to hold off Joey Logano and a slew of Cup regulars for his first Nationwide victory since Michigan in 2006.
“We lost everything here,” said Tony Eury Jr., Earnhardt’s cousin and crew chief. “To come back with that number and do this, it means everything.”
Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap accident in the 2001 Daytona 500.
Earnhardt Jr. agreed to drive the No. 3, his father’s famed number, with the Wrangler paint scheme that the elder Earnhardt drove to one of his seven Cup championships. The promotion celebrated last month’s inaugural Hall of Fame induction ceremony and was a collaboration with Richard Childress, who owns the rights to the No. 3.
“I was so worried that I wasn’t going to win,” Earnhardt said. “Nothing but a win was good enough.”
It was Earnhardt’s third time driving the No. 3. “This is it. No more three for me,” he said.