Andy Murray criticised Italy’s Fabio Fognini after an on-court row at the Shanghai Masters, saying: “I’m not having him talk to me like that.”
Britain’s Murray, 32, lost a tetchy three-set battle with the world number 12 lasting more than three hours.
A tight deciding set saw an angry Murray tell Fognini to “shut up” and twice fail to serve out for victory.
“I’ve never had that in a match and I’ve played 800-odd matches on the tour,” Murray said.
Fognini dominated a decisive tie-break to win 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2).
The pair confronted one another in a lengthy exchange by the net near the end of a bad-tempered match.
Murray, on the comeback from hip surgery in January, said: “Someone made a noise, I didn’t know who made the noise, I looked in the direction of where the noise came from.
“He then told me, ‘Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?’
“I was like, ‘I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise’. He then told me to stop looking at him.
“He told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour. I wanted to know where the sound came from and it came from him, which you’re not allowed to do.
“It’s against the rules, it’s hindrance, you shouldn’t do it. But he said I should have a sense of humour about that but in that moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood.
“He [umpire Fergus Murphy] wasn’t saying anything to him. I was obviously frustrated with that. He wanted to engage with me, I probably shouldn’t have done but I’m not having him talk to me like that on the court.”
Asked if he took anything good from pushing Fognini so close, Murray replied: “No. I’m very disappointed.
“There are a lot of things I need to get better at. I will go away and work on those things and be in a better position when I next play against him.
“I served for the match twice and not won, I think that’s the first time that’s happened in my career.”
Meanwhile, Swiss second seed Roger Federer eased past Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening match.
Federer, 38, dominated the first set against the world number 46 before a tighter second saw the 20-time Grand Slam champion secure victory by claiming the final three points of a tie-break to win 6-2 7-6 (7-5).
Cameron Norrie’s chances of becoming the new British number one are over after losing 6-3 6-1 against US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev in his second-round match.
Dan Evans, 29, will climb above Kyle Edmund in the rankings next week and becoming Britain’s leading male player for the first time – confirmed after former world number one Murray lost his second-round match.
British pair Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski moved into the second round of the men’s doubles with a 6-3 6-4 win over China’s Xin Gao and Zhe Li.