Toronto:Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal resume their rivalry on the North American stage as the summer crush of hardcourt events begins with the Toronto Masters.
With the Beijing Olympics starting August 8, the schedule is packed-out, with the Canadian event the first meeting between the world's top two since Federer lost to Nadal in their Wimbledon title epic.
Arriving with a decidedly lower profile is Serbia's defending champion Novak Djokovic, whose recent months on court have been a frustration as the big two pull ahead into a class of their own.
Nadal should be rested and refreshed after winning the most dramatic final in modern Wimbledon history.
The Spanish world number two has relaxed at home on Mallorca while Federer has been left to fret over the possibility of losing his world number one spot over the next few weeks.
Nadal's stunning Wimbledon success has increased his value for the world's paparazzi with him featured in a set of snaps from the beach with his media-shy teenage girlfriend.
But Team Nadal turned down a request from elite French magazine Paris Match for a photo session.
Federer, who suffered his first Wimbledon loss since 2002, has reportedly used the time off to switch fiscal residences to a lakeside Zurich village which is home to other big-earning sportsmen.
Toronto leads straight to the Masters in Cincinnati, with only a brief pause before the top three in the world travel to Beijing for the Olympics prior to dashing back across the Pacific for the August 25 start of the US Open.
With the top eight seeds enjoying first-round byes, Federer will have a chance to work any kinks out of his game as he awaits either a qualifier or Frenchman Gilles Simon, finalist this weekend in Indianapolis.
Nadal will line up against either Canadian wild card Peter Polansky or former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.
Djokovic, the number three who beat both of his rivals on his way to the title in Montreal a year ago, will have a danger match against either Canadian home hope Frank Dancevic or Croatian Mario Ancic.
Missing from the field is Lleyton Hewitt, with the 26th-ranked Australian awaiting medical opinions about how to best treat a long-running hip injury.
Russian Nikolay Davydenko, the fourth seed, is back after an uncharacteristic two weeks off while Spain's David Ferrer takes the fifth seeding ahead of Andy Roddick, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury and has not played since a second-round loss at Wimbledon.
American James Blake is seeded seventh ahead of Briton Andy Murray.