Australian Open: Nadal says back injury much improved after booking last 16 spot

The Spaniard defeated Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in straight sets in Round 3 on Saturday.

Rafael Nadal in action against Cameron Norrie on Saturday- GETTY IMAGES

Rafa Nadal said his suspect back was no longer worrying him as he eased into the second week of the Australian Open by beating Britain's Cameron Norrie on Saturday.

The 34-year-old was not at his absolute best against Norrie but still cruised to a 7-5 6-2 7-5 win.

"The back was not getting better each day. It was getting better today," Nadal told reporters.

"Was the first day I feel an improvement, and that's the most important thing for me today, more than any other thing," he added.

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Nadal's service speeds have been down so far at the tournament but he won 77% of points behind his first serve and an impressive 69% on his second delivery.

"I need to come back to my normal serving. Of course I was not serving my normal serve for the last 15 days.

"Today is the first day that I started to serve again my normal serve. So of course I didn't serve bad, but I can do better, I think. And I'm looking forward to do it better. The biggest victory is the back is better for the first day," he concluded.

Nadal will face Fabio Fognini in the fourth round of the tournament.

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