Cape Town - World No 1 Rafael Nadal begins his lead up to the US Open at the Rogers Cup in Toronto this week.
The Spaniard last played at Wimbledon, where he lost a five set epic to rival and eventual winner Novak Djokovic in a match that could have gone either way.
It was just Nadal's third loss of his superlative season that has already brought him four titles.
Now, after holidaying in Spain's gorgeous Balearic Islands, Nadal returns to the ATP Tour for the first Masters 1000 event following the grass courts swing. If he's injury free after Toronto, Nadal will head to Cincinnati for further game time.
Nadal arrives in Toronto this week as a three-time winner of the tournament, but confirms that he's looking at the bigger picture, which includes the US Open at the end of August.
"I think what can happen here or in Cincinnati will not have a big impact on the US Open," the 32-year-old told atpworldtour.com.
"Of course the good results would be good for the confidence but the conditions are completely different - courts, the ball especially.
"I know from my experience if I play well here and Cincinnati it's a little bit easier to play well at the US Open but not decisive. Last year I didn’t play very well (in Montreal) but I played well at the US Open and won it.
"In 2005 I won here and I lost third round at the US Open. If you win, you play well in these two events and create this extra confidence to play well there, but if you lose it doesn't matter, the conditions are completely different."