WATCH: When a fuming Andy Murray told Fabio Fognini to ‘shut up’ – ‘Neither of us were joking’
Andy Murray and Fabio Fognini will meet for a ninth time in their careers when they face each other at the Italian Open this week, but their last top-level encounter was a pretty heated affair.
Fresh from winning the ATP Challenger Tour event in Aix-en-Provence on Sunday, Murray will make the step back up to the ATP Tour on Wednesday as he will face local hero Fognini in the first round in Rome. Fognini, meanwhile, will return to action after a month out with his last match a second-round defeat at the Estoril Open.
Episode No 9 between Murray and Fognini should be an interesting clash at Foro Italico, but we are not sure if it will live up their stormy 2019 match at the Shanghai Masters when tempers were flaring.
Back then Fognini was seeded 10th while Murray – who was still nursing his way back following hip surgery earlier in the way – received a wildcard entry into the main draw.
It was a brilliant contest as it went to a third set after they shared the opening two sets, but it all kicked off at 5-5 in the decider after Fognini shouted while Murray tried to put a volley away.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 8, 2019
The pair had words at the changeover and Murray made his feelings clear to chair umpire Fergus Murphy, saying: “He shouts and then tells me don’t look at me. He just shouted in the middle of the point.”
He then told the Italian: “You say the same to everyone. Mate, you say the same in every match no matter who you’re playing.”
There were more words with the official and while Fognini tried to get in a word of his own Murray told him “shut up”.
Fognini won the match 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-6 (7-2) and Murray was asked about the incident during the post-match press conference.
“I had a volley on top of the net, someone made a noise – I didn’t know who made the noise,” he said.
“I looked the direction of where the noise came from and he then told me ‘stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for’, and I was like ‘I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise. He was then telling me to stop looking at him which – normally when someone shouts in the middle of a point – this is pretty rare that that happens – and then yeah.
“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 [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.”
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