Tomic prevailed 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) to earn a match against second-seeded Andy Murray, who like all 32 seeds in the event received a bye into the second round. Murray won his only previous meeting with Tomic and is trying to bounce back from an exit in the quarterfinals last week at Indian Wells.
Daniel Gimeno-Traver set up a second-round match with fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych by disposing of Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4. It will be the first meeting between Gimeno-Traver and Berdych, who has put together an 18-5 match record this year.
In other first-round matches Thursday, Oliver Rochus and Guido Pella both advanced when their opponents were forced to retire. Rochus had a 3-1 lead in the third set against Tatsuma Ito when Ito had to quit. Carlos Berlocq had played only three games against Pella before leaving the court.
Guillaume Rufin also advanced with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Marius Copil, Alejandro Falla was a 7-5, 6-1 winner over Go Soeda, Viktor Troicki ousted Pablo Andujar 6-2, 6-3 and Jarkko Nieminen outlasted David Nalbandian 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who lost for the first time this year when he fell to Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals at Indian Wells, will return to action Friday in the second round against Lukas Rosol.