Halep, who has lost in the first round on four of her seven appearances here and has never gone beyond the last eight, lost to Konta in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last summer.
Garbine Muguruza, who briefly led the world rankings after last year’s US Open, is a potential semi-final opponent for Konta, but the Wimbledon champion has not started the year well and retired early from her first two tournaments of the campaign because of injury.
The early signs are that the Briton can prosper under the American’s guidance.
Nadal could face John Isner in the fourth round, Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals and Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals.
said on Thursday it was shuttering 103 unprofitable Kmart and Sears stores as it continues to streamline operations amid mounting debt and a string of quarterly losses.
The department store operator, which has racked up 24 straight quarters of sales declines, said 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores would be closed between early March and early April this year.
Sears Holdings, once the largest retailer in the United States, said at the end of October that it operated 1,104 stores, nearly half the 2,019 stores it ran in 2012.
However, both Djokovic and Wawrinka are returning after six-month injury lay-offs and the Serb and the Swiss have yet to confirm they are definite starters here.
In the first round Djokovic has been drawn against Donald Young, while Wawrinka, who has been paired with Ricardas Berankis.
Konta won both their previous meetings, in the third round here 12 months ago and in last year’s final of the Miami Open.
Since losing her last five matches in 2017 Konta has taken time out to recover from a foot problem and replaced her coach, Wim Fissette, with Michael Joyce.
A 6-0, 6-4 victory today over Donna Vekic put the 25-year-old from Guernsey into the semi-finals of the Hobart Internationa, which she won three years ago.
Watson, who always enjoys playing Down Under, faces Belgium’s Elise Mertens in Friday’s semi-finals.
Edmund has also started the year well, though the British No 2 pulled out of this week’s tournament in Auckland with an ankle injury.