Andy Murray slams Fabio Fognini for shouting during point as Scot loses bad-tempered clash in Shanghai
The performance itself gave more than enough talking points, with Murray raising his level again to push a player ranked 12 in the world all the way before slipping to a 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (2) defeat.
Murray was furious with Fognini, who is no stranger to overstepping the mark, when he shouted as the Scot was about to put away a volley in the 11th game of the deciding set.
Murray confronted his opponent at the change of ends, telling the Italian to "shut up" as umpire Fergus Murphy tried to dissuade him from taking it any further. Murray said to Murphy: "He shouts and then tells me don't look at me. He just shouted in the middle of the point."
Having failed to serve out the match at 5-4, Murray had another chance at 6-5 but Fognini broke back once more and then dominated the tie-break, clinching victory after three hours and nine minutes.
The handshake between the pair was brief but civil, with Murray continuing to press his point to Murphy before leaving the court.
Despite the disappointment of failing to serve out the match twice, Murray showed numerous signs of his best level and will be pleased that he is able to compete with a player ranked inside the top 15 so soon after major hip surgery.
Murray is due to play the European Open next week in Antwerp as he continues his recovery.