According to reports out of Shanghai, a user on the popular website Baidu.com threatened to assassinate Federer.
Here are the details of the AFP report:
“On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination,” read the message, posted under the name ‘Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07′ on baidu.com.
The user also posted a doctored image showing a decapitated Federer on his knees on a tennis court, with a masked executioner dressed in black and holding an axe posing next to him.
Police in China and other agencies reportedly are working to increase security for Federer to ensure the safety of him and his family.
“We hope that it was an oral threat only, and the fan won’t take substantive action. However, we have to take it seriously,” tournament organizer Yang Yibin reportedly told the Shanghai Youth Daily.
“We have contacted the local police and we will upgrade the level of security for Roger. Meanwhile, we will also protect other players’ security,” he said.
The threat against Federer will force fans to recall the 1993 incident where former No. 1-ranked player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by a crazed Steffi Graf fan while playing a match in Germany. Federer has even faced bizarre actions from fans while on the court. At the French Open in 2009, a fan ran onto the court and went up to him: