China blogger apologises for Federer death threat
Agence France-Presse in Shanghai
The blogger who made a death threat against Roger Federer said he had apologised, but remained at large after vowing to “assassinate” the world number one.
An internet user under the name “Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07” threatened Federer before he arrived in Shanghai, prompting organisers to step up security. “I have not been arrested,” said a posting on China’s popular baidu.com, where the original threat also appeared.
“I took the initiative to contact the relevant people to apologise,” said the message, which the blogger posted around midday on Tuesday.
The original threat read: “On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination.”
The user also posted a doctored image showing a decapitated Federer on his knees on a tennis court, with an axe-wielding executioner next to him.
Shanghai Masters organisers said ahead of the competition that they were taking the bizarre threat “seriously”, while Federer himself labelled it a “distraction” after arriving.
“Obviously, maybe it’s a little bit of a distraction, there’s no doubt about it,” Federer said on Sunday. “It was something just very small on a website, nothing clear and concrete, people just debating.”
Federer’s wife and twin daughters did not travel to China, but he said that decision had nothing to do with the threats.
In 1993, former women’s world number one Monica Seles was stabbed by a fan during a match in Hamburg.