Rafael Nadal came from two sets to one down to win at the Australian Open today ©Getty Images

Rafael Nadal was forced to come from two sets to one down to win a five-set thriller against Germany's Alexander Zverev and secure his place in the last 16 of the men's singles tournament at the Australian Open today.

The Spaniard claimed a hard earned 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 win in a match that lasted four hours inside the Rod Laver Arena.

One break apiece was enough to see both players share the opening two sets, but 19-year-old Zverev showed his potential as he capitalised on a 6-5 lead in the tiebreak by hitting a scintillating backhand winner on set point.

Unfazed by falling behind for a second time, Nadal stormed 3-0 clear in the fourth before winning his remaining service games to once again level the contest.

The Spaniard broke again at the start of the decider, but Zverev hit back.

At 2-2, a scintillating game lasting nine minutes went to Nadal which was the beginning of Zverev's downfall.

Nadal held his serve for 4-2 before breaking once again.

All that was left for Nadal to do was serve out and Zverev handed the Spanish star the win when he hit a forehand into the net on match point.

The Spaniard will now take on sixth seed Gael Monfils of France after he claimed a 6-3, 7-6, 6-4 straight sets victory over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Canada's Milos Raonic made it through to the fourth round after beating Gilles Simon of France ©Getty Images
Canada's Milos Raonic made it through to the fourth round after beating Gilles Simon of France ©Getty Images

Third seed Milos Raonic of Canada was also victorious today as he claimed a three sets to one win over France's Giles Simon.

Raonic, who became the first Canadian man to reach the semi-finals here last year, raced into a one set lead 6-2 before winning a second set tie break to put himself on the brink of round four.

The 2016 Wimbledon runner-up then lost his first set of the tournament as Simon collected the third 6-3 but got back on track and claimed victory by winning the fourth 6-3.

Dominic Thiem of Austria also progressed with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over unseeded Frenchamn, Benoit Paire while Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut was a 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 winner against his compatriot David Ferrer.

In the women's singles competition, Serena Williams of the United States powered through to the next round with a commanding 6-1, 6-3 victory over her compatriot Nicole Gibbs.

Great Britain's Johanna Konta continued her emphatic recent run of form as she eliminated Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

The 25-year-old, who reached the semi-finals of this tournament last year before losing to eventual champion Angelique Kerber, took just 75 minutes to claim a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova produced arguably the shock of the day as she eliminated Slovakian sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova in three sets.

Makarova, the tournament's 30th seed, won the opening set 6-2 before Cibulkova restored parity by winning the second in a tie break.

Unnerved by her opponent's comeback, Makarova gained the upper hand in the third set and failed to relinquish her lead as she won the final set 6-3 to secure safe passage to round four.

Serena Williams was dominant as she breezed through to round four ©Getty Images
Serena Williams was dominant as she breezed through to round four ©Getty Images

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic staged an incredible comeback against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko to reach the last 16 at the Australian Open for the first time.

The fifth seed and many people's favourite for the title after her Brisbane International victory trailed 5-2 in the final set before coming back to win 4-6, 6-0, 10-8.

“It was very hard and I think I was a little lucky in the end," said Pliskova.

"She was playing very well, maybe the better player.

"But I'm excited to be here in the fourth round for the first time in my life.

"When she was 5-2 up, she was missing a little more.

"I was staying in the game, even though I broke my racket, but I was still fighting."

Action in Melbourne is set to continue tomorrow with the opening matches of the fourth round taking place.