Johannesburg, Oct. 5 : Security around tennis ace Roger Federer has been beefed up after the Swiss champion, who is currently in China for the Shanghai Masters, was targeted in an online death threat, according to a report.
Organisers at the tournament have taken extra precautions for Federer, who has arrived in Shanghai with his family, after an unknown blogger, in a bizarre posting on a popular Chinese website, claimed that he planned to "assassinate" the player.
"On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination," Sport24 quoted the message, which was posted under the name ''Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07'' on baidu. com, as reading.
According to the report, 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.
Immediately after the revelation of the death threat, Chinese police officials and other government agencies were prompted to increase the security around Federer, an official with the tournament''s organising committee has confirmed.
"We hope that it was an oral threat only, and the fan won''t take substantive action. We have contacted the local police and we will upgrade the level of security for Roger. Meanwhile, we will also protect other players'' security," the police official said.
The official confirmed that Federer''s arrival time was not disclosed to media and that he and his family were ushered through a VIP channel and driven straight to their hotel after flying in to Shanghai, the report said.