Shanghai: Security was tightened around Roger Federer after the world No. 1 received an online death threat prior to a tournament in Shanghai, according to various reports.
Tournament director Yang Yibin confirmed the threat to the Shanghai Youth Daily.
An anonymous poster using the name "Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07" posted the threat on the popular Chinese website, Baidu.com.
"On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination," the posting read.
The threat was accompanied by a doctored photo of a axe-wielding executioner standing next to a decapitated Federer. The posting was taken seriously enough for the tournament to increase security around Federer and other players, but Yang told the newspaper he hopes it "was an oral threat only."