In most sports, teams change sides after halftime. In tennis, the players change continents and surfaces. The last time we saw the game’s biggest names gathered in one place was on the grass at Wimbledon in July. Starting Monday, after a month-long, mid-season break, they’ll get back together on hard courts in North America.

With that shift will come a new set of story lines. Here’s a look ahead at how the mens’ will begin, with the draw in Montreal.

And if you’re wondering why one of those big names, Roger Federer, won’t join the journey to the U.S. Open until next week in Cincinnati, here’s a rundown of the likely reasons why from my friend Tom Tebbutt.

The season's second half begins with a question: Can Novak Djokovic avoid the summer slump that dragged him down in North America in 2014? Last year, after winning Wimbledon and getting married, he came out flat in Toronto, where he took just four games from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and he stayed that way in Cincy and New York. Djokovic hasn’t been quite as busy this time around, and, after dominating 2015 so far, it would be a major surprise if he let the same thing happen again. Djokovic will start against either Thomaz Bellucci or Pablo Cuevas; neither is a slouch, but neither is an upset artist, either. More interesting should be Djokovic’s second match, which might come against Grigor Dimitrov or Jack Sock.

Also here: Tomas Berdych

Player on the offensive: Dominic Thiem. Since Wimbledon, he’s won two tournaments and reached the semis of a third.

Players on the defensive: Grigor Dimitrov and Kevin Anderson. The Bulgarian, who has been struggling, reached the semis here last year. The South African, who lost his opening match last week in D.C., made the quarters.


Second-Half Kickoff

Second-Half Kickoff

The last time we saw Stan Wawrinka, he was losing to Richard Gasquet in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Montreal probably isn’t the best place for the French Open champion to leave that defeat behind; he’s won just one match in Canada the last two years. Winning another could be a tricky proposition, too—Wawrinka will try to shake the rust off against either Nick Kyrgios or Fernando Verdasco in his opener. And after that, he might have to face either John Isner, who no one relishes playing, or Vasek Pospisil, who reached the semifinals the last time the men’s event was held in Montreal, in 2013.

The player who beat Pospisil in that semi two years ago, Milos Raonic, is also in this quarter. Though like Wawrinka, Raonic hasn’t played since Wimbledon, and he spent much of the spring dealing with a nerve problem in his right foot. Still, the Canadians have risen to the occasion in Canada recently.

Also here: Gasquet, who reached the Rogers Cup final in 2006 and 2012.

This would appear to be an important event for Kei Nishikori. As of this moment, he has reached the Citi Open final, so he’s clearly playing well and, for the moment, is injury-free. The next step for Nishikori, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up, would seem to be a deep run at a summer hard-court Masters event, something that has so far eluded the 25-year-old. This year Nishikori has the draw to make it happen. He’ll start against either Pablo Andujar or Canadian wild card Frank Dancevic, and the highest seed in his half of this section is David Goffin—a sort of poor man’s Kei Nishikori.

But the bigger question will come from the other half of his quarter. Rafael Nadal, who has won twice in Montreal, is the top seed on that side. After his title in Hamburg, is it time to start counting Rafa back in, rather than out? He also has the draw to go deep. Nadal will start against Sergiy Stakhovsky or Filip Peliwo, and the highest seed on his side is Gilles Simon.


Second-Half Kickoff

Second-Half Kickoff

Andy Murray will take his second crack at the hard-court season; his first attempt, in D.C., was derailed in his first match by Teymuraz Gabashvili. Like Wawrinka, though, the Rogers Cup may not be the best place for Murray to try to turn things around; he’s reached the quarterfinals in Canada just once since 2010. But Murray’s draw does look manageable. He’ll start against either Feliciano Lopez or Tommy Robredo—Murray is 15-2 combined against the two Spaniards—and the second-highest seed in this section is Marin Cilic. Murray is 10-2 against the Croat.

First-round matches to watch:

Gael Monfils vs. Fabio Fognini

Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Borna Coric

Semifinals: Djokovic d. Raonic; Nadal d. Murray

Final: Djokovic d. Nadal