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US OPEN

Nadal "needs to improve" as he seeks last 16 berth in New York

The Spanish fourth seed said he felt better in his movement and with his troublesome wrist ahead of his match against Andrey Kuznetsov.

Nadal "needs to improve" as he seeks last 16 berth in New York
Michael Reaves AFP

Rafa Nadal, with his troublesome left wrist improving every day, will be eyeing more progress at the US Open on Friday when he bids for a place in the last 16.

Rio boost

The two-time champion, who suffered the injury at the French Open and then missed Wimbledon, showed his form when he reached the semi-finals of the singles and won the doubles gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last month.

Nadal takes on Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov in the third round, knowing that with each win his chances of a third US Open are likely to be talked up.

"Every match is important"

"The real thing is [it is] not a big thing to be in the third round again," Nadal said. "But for sure every match is important. That's my philosophy. That's my way to play every tournament. Next round is a very tough opponent. I know him well. I played him this year I think at the beginning of the season in Doha. He's an aggressive player. He has lots of big shots from the baseline and he's very dangerous.”

"I need to improve, playing longer, playing higher, changing speeds, changing the rhythm of the ball with the slice, and then every time I need to hit more forehand winners. I felt good the whole game [against Andreas Seppi]. I was moving better and had better feelings with the wrist."