Federer will, for example, not sign autographs after matches.
The threat was dated 25 September, and reportedly accompanied a photo showing the Swiss star without his head.
The identity of the person who made the threat is still unknown, but authorities are seriously pursuing the matter. Organizers have said that the security of Federer and his family is their top priority.
Threats against tennis players are taken very seriously. The most famous incident of violence against a player was, of course, the one which saw Monica Seles stabbed on court during a match. This happened in Hamburg in 1993, when Seles was leading 6-4, 4-3. Günther Parche, a huge fan of Steffi Graf, snuck onto the court and stabbed Seles in the back with a knife. Seles was never quite the same, though she did play again.
She had received death threats before the incident.
Threats against sportspeople are not a rare phenomenon, of course. Just last year, Kevin Pezzoni was forced to leave his football club, Cologne, after being threatened by his own fans. Fans of the same club threatened the coach with death should the team be relegated to a lower league. He resigned immediately.
Similarly, players from the Italian club Sampdoria had their team bus attacked, and threatened with death should they be relegated.
Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar was shot several times by a group of men angry at the fact that he had scored an own goal against the United States. Several other threats were made against players of the same team, usually involving either death or damage to property. One mentioned burning down a player’s house if he didn’t perform well.
Many sport starts have also been targeted by organizing crime gangs, who have threatened them with harm for various reasons. During the 1994 World Cup, the son Luis Fernando Herrera was kidnapped by a drug cartel, and only released after a huge ransom had been paid.
During the last Olympic, the Tunisian athlete Oussama Mellouli was targeted by a group of fundamentalists. Mellouli, who won a gold and bronze medal, was threatened with death because he drank and ingested sugars during the Olympics, which fell in the middle of Ramadan.
Islamic fundamentalism also led to the death Samia Yusuf Omar, the Somali flag bearer of his nation in Beijing in 2008. That athlete was threatened by fundamentalists who held that sport was against Islam. Samia was later found dead at sea.
Even as far back as the 1968 Mexico Games, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who had won gold and bronze in the 200 meters, were threatened because they gave signs of sympathising with the Black Power movement in the United States. This was shortly after the death of Martin Luther King, who was killed on April 4, 1968.