By Bobby Pollier, EnStarz | Oct 05, 2012 04:54 PM EDT
Tennis star Roger Federer is reportedly the target of an apparent death threat that was posted by an unknown blogger on a popular Chinese website. Federer is currently in China for next week's World Masters 1000 tournament.
In a message written on Baidu under the alias "Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07," the user stated the following: "On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination."
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The web surfer also posted a disturbingly altered image of a beheaded Federer on his knees on the tennis court alongside a masked murderer dressed in black holding an ax.
Police and other government officials were notified about the serious matter and are said to be increasing their security around the Swiss star. Tennis organizing committee official Yang Yibin spoke about the potentially serious circumstance.
"We hope that was an oral threat only, and the fan won't take substantive action. However, we have to take it seriously. We have contacted the local police and we will upgrade the level of security for Roger. Meanwhile, we will also protect other players' security."
Although Yang only gave minute details of Federer's security squad, he did say that the 31-year-old's planned arrival time was purposely not revealed to the general public. He also said that the star's family was instantly led through a VIP channel and transported directly to their hotel upon arrival in Shanghai.
Attacks on tennis professionals are considered a rarity, but they have indeed occurred. In 1993, Monica Seles was stabbed by a psychotic fan during a match in Hamburg.
Also, another mentally unstable fan attempted to use a beret on Federer at the 2009 French Open Final, but was successfully tackled by security officials. This year, Federer will look to put the latest death threat behind him and win his record-breaking 22nd Masters 1000 title.
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