Rafael Nadal doesn’t buy the idea that attending a tournament draw is bad luck.
“I did the draw at Roland Garros for seven years, so after that I’m not superstitious any more,” the master of French Open clay said Friday at the draw for the men’s Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium.
Nadal is seeded fourth at the 56-man hardcourt event that opens Monday. Like all the top eight, the Spaniard will have a bye to the second round.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will be gunning for a third straight Rogers Cup title, and his fourth overall, while second-seed Andy Murray won the event in 2009 and 2010.
Canada’s top player, power-serving Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., is seeded 13th. He will face Jeremy Chardy of France in the first round on Tuesday night. Tournament organizers are urging fans to wear red and white Canadian colours to show support.
Raonic needed three sets to beat 28th-ranked Chardy in their only meeting last year in Paris.
A tough draw went to Vasek Pospisil, a native of Vernon, B.C., who will face 20th-ranked American John Isner. But the two have split their two meetings thus far, both on hard courts, with 89th-ranked Pospisil taking a third set tiebreaker in 2011 in Spain and Isner winning in three sets this year at San Jose.
It won’t be easy for 19-year-old Filip Peliwo of Vancouver in his first meeting with Finnish veteran Jarrko Nieminen. Peliwo is ranked 353rd in the world, while Nieminen is 37th.
Jesse Levine of Ottawa, ranked 124th, will face 100th-ranked Xavier Malisse of Belgium for the first time.
Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., ranked 165th, will take on a qualifier.
Nadal has not played a lot of hardcourt tennis this year. He arrived nearly a week ahead of the event to get practice time on the quick surface. He hopes to buy more time by having his first match on Wednesday.
“I haven’t played a tournament in seven weeks, so that’s not the best preparation, but I’ll try my best,” he said.
He is a two-time Rogers Cup champion, having won in 2005 in Montreal and in 2008 in Toronto.
“In 2005, it was very special for me because it was my first hardcourt victory,” he said. “And it was against Andre Agassi in the final, one of the best players in history.”
The tournament lost some stars to injury withdrawals this week, including fifth-ranked Roger Federer and No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It still has eight of the top 10 in the world.
About 7,000 fans turned out Friday for a free open house day at the stadium to watch players practice.
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