Nadal gets his US Open preparations underway next week and he has been handed a bye in the opening round in Toronto.
Either Jared Donaldson or Benoit Paire await in round two, but from there are plenty of top guns more than capable of causing an upset further down the road.
Stan Wawrinka takes on Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster opening-round match – and the winner is likely to face Nadal in round three.
But the Spaniard is not thinking that far ahead just yet, as he first wants to study the first round before plotting his own way to glory.
“I cannot think about Wawrinka, Kyrgios, Joao (Sousa) before playing Benoit or a qualifier,” Nadal said.
“I know the first round is going to be a tough battle. But watching the full draw doesn’t distract me from being focused on that first round.
“I like to see the confrontations that are in the first round. There are a couple of very interesting ones in my opinion, and that’s it.
“I always take it match by match, that’s what I’ve done all my life.
“That’s the only way, in my opinion, to have success. You need to respect all the days, all the opponents.
“In tennis, things change so quickly, so you need to be ready to accept both victories and losses.”
Nadal reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last month, strengthening his position at the top of the world rankings.
But he must defend his US Open title next month to best fend off the challenge of Roger Federer.
Rafael Nadal possible route to final
R2: Jared Donaldson / Benoit Paire
R3: Stan Wawrinka / Nick Kyrgios
QF: Marin Cilic / Kyle Edmund / Diego Schwartzman / Sam Querrey
SF: John Isner / Juan Martin del Potro
F: Novak Djokovic / Alexander Zverev / Dominic Thiem / Kevin Anderson / Grigor Dimitrov