Swiss ace Roger Federer cruised into the third round of the Shanghai Masters yesterday beating Taiwanese qualifier Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 7-5 to set up a clash with fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.
Federer’s build-up to the Shanghai tournament was clouded by a death threat from a blogger in China but the 17-time Grand Slam champion said he quickly put it out of his mind once he was on court.
“I thought it was a good match for me. Obviously not having been broken is a good thing early on in a tournament. You hope it sets a trend for more to come,” he said.
Speaking about the threat, Federer said: “I felt fine, you know. There was maybe one quick thought. But once the match started, got under way, I never thought about it again.”
Meanwhile, the blogger in China who made the death threat against Roger Federer said he had apologised, but remained at large after vowing to “assassinate” the World No 1, according to an Internet posting. An Internet user under the name ‘Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07’ threatened the Swiss top seed before he arrived to play at the Shanghai Masters, prompting organisers to step up security for the event.
“I have not been arrested," said a posting on China’s popular baidu.com site, where the original threat also appeared. “I took the initiative to contact the relevant people to apologise,” said the message, which was posted around midday on Tuesday.
The original threat read: “On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination.”