Death threat from blogger a distraction, admits Federer
SHANGHAI (AFP) - Roger Federer admitted on Sunday that a bizarre online death threat had been a distraction in the build-up to the Shanghai Masters but said he was now focusing on action on the court.
Tournament officials gave assurances on players' security after hate messages from a blogger, who calls himself 'Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07' appeared on the popular baidu.com site.
"On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination," read the message.
The user also posted a doctored image showing a decapitated Federer on his knees on a tennis court, with an axe-wielding executioner posing next to him. Federer, speaking at a press conference on the first day of the tournament with black-suited security personnel looking on, said the run-up to the Shanghai Masters had been different from usual.