Paris, France, 29 October 2013 | AFP

Australian Bernard Tomic on Monday fell in a tight three-set, first-round loss at the ATP Paris Masters.

In a a fiercely contested match that could have gone either way, Spain’s Feliciano Lopez outlasted Tomic 6-4 6-7(4) 7-6(1).

The Australian qualifier had a better first-serve percentage for the match and committed fewer double-faults, but could not stay with the veteran Spaniard in the deciding third-set tiebreaker.

Lopez will meet Stanislas Wawrinka with the Swiss seventh seed looking to wrap up his first appearance at the season-ending London Masters with a good run this week.

Wawrinka is battling with compatriot Roger Federer and French duo, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfrid Tsonga, for the final tickets to the elite eight-man tournament.

Croatia’s Marin Cilic marked his return from suspension with a hard-fought three-set victory over Dutchman Igor Sijsling.

Cilic, 25, sitting 47th in the world rankings, tested positive for the stimulant nikethamide at the Munich Open in May and was banned for nine months by an independent tribunal in September.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban to four months last Friday meaning the sanction expired one day later and allowed him to take his place in Paris.

After dropping a tense opening set, Cilic bounced back to set up a showdown with world No.5 Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina with a 5-7 6-1 6-4 victory.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal, who was not in action on Monday, said he was pleased to see Cilic back on tour.

“One thing I can say is I’m happy to see Marin back on tour. He’s a good guy and a great player.

“I don’t know what happened but, if he’s back, it’s because it’s fair that he’s back – that’s all. I’m happy for that.”

Elsewhere, Jeremy Chardy became the first French player to fall, well beaten 6-3 6-4 by Czech Lukas Rosol, while compatriot Adrian Mannarino also crashed out in a tough defeat against Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Dutchman Robin Haase clinched the first set 10-8 in a tiebreaker before closing out his first-round match 7-6 6-3 over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Spaniard Fernando Verdasco defeated Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6(3) 7-6(5).