Croatia’s Marin Cilic marked his return from suspension with a hard-fought three-set win over Dutchman Igor Sijsling at the Paris Masters on Monday.
Cilic, 25, currently ranked 47th in the world, 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 CAS reduced the ban to four months last Friday, meaning the sanction expired one day later and allowed him to take his place in the tournament. After dropping a tense opening set, Cilic bounced back to set up a contest against World No.5 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
In the doubles draw, fifth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin and seventh seeds Leander Paes and Daniel Nestor received first-round byes.
The results: First round: Fernando Verdasco bt Ernests Gulbis 7-6(3), 7-6(5); Marin Cilic bt Igor Sijsling 5-7, 6-1, 6-4; Feliciano Lopez bt Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(1); Robin Haase bt Denis Istomin 7-6(8), 6-3; Santiago Giraldo bt Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; Lukas Rosol bt Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4. — Agencies