Andy Murray keeps his focus as Kim Clijsters and Rafa Nadal lose theirs

Murray keeps his focus on the court as Kim and Rafa serve notice

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UPDATED:

00:29 GMT, 27 March 2012

So far this week Andy Murray has been serenely calm amid the swirling currents of professional tennis, which presently see Kim Clijsters denying claims of her imminent retirement and Rafael Nadal resigning from the ATP’s Player Council.

And Murray, given a free passage through to the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open by Canadian Milos Raonic, will try to continue his dominance over French players when he faces Gilles Simon.

Not quitting: Kim Clijsters insists she is playing on

Not quitting: Kim Clijsters insists she is playing on

Victory would take him a step nearer
to a last-four meeting with Nadal, whose resignation from the body
representing fellow professionals is symptomatic of a distinct cooling
of relations with his long-time rival and fellow member Roger Federer.

Nadal has quit because of what is said to be a lack of support, and there are two specific things he is unhappy about.

The first was the rebuffing of
Richard Krajicek to become chief executive of the ATP, the job going
instead to another ex-pro, Brad Drewett.

Keeping his cool: Andy Murray has remained focused

Keeping his cool: Andy Murray has remained focused

Then there has been the lack of
progress on his idea to introduce a ranking system based on two years’
results. On both fronts he was opposed by Federer.

Clijsters is already out of this
event, and it was feared persistent ankle injuries may bring her
glittering two-part career — either side of motherhood — to an end.

However, the 28-year-old Belgian, who
has won four Grand Slam titles, used Twitter last night to deny the
rumours, following defeat
here to Yanina Wickmayer.

Clijsters said: ‘I am not quitting! Not yet! I have some great tennis left in me! Just making that very clear!’

All this will not detract Murray from
trying to register his 39th win in 40 matches against Gallic opposition
when he takes on Simon.