Officials ensured that the top-ranked player, who arrived in Shanghai with his family, was given full protection after an unknown blogger said in a posting on baidu.com, a popular Chinese web site, that he was planning to assassinate Federer on Friday.
According to an agency report, the threat, posted under the name 'Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07', said Federer was targetted with the aim of 'tennis extermination'. The user also posted a doctored image, which showed a decapitated Roger Federer on his knees on a tennis court with masked assassin dressed in black and holding an axe next to him, the report said.
While police and other state agencies were asked to increase Federer's security, the organisers of the tournament hoped that the threat was only an oral threat and would not affect the fans of the champion tennis player. They were, however, taking no chances and took notice of other players' security as well.
As a measure of security, Federer's time of arrival in Shanghai was not disclosed and he and his family were brought through a VIP tunnel at the airport and taken straight to the hotel.
Attack on tennis player is not new. In 1993, former tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed by a deranged fan during a match in Hamburg while Roger Federer was attacked by a fan during the 2009 French Open Final before security officials intervened.
(With agency inputs)