Roger Federer has had a bit of a stressful week.
A few days ago, an internet user posted a disturbing message on a Baidu.com site. It read "On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination."
While the majority of threats, especially on the internet, are fake, it is always important to take things like this seriously.
Obviously maybe it's a little bit of a distraction, there's no doubt about it. But you have to be aware of what's happening around you. But that is the case anyway anywhere I go today with my fame and all that stuff.
The 31-year-old veteran is an experienced professional, but there are some things that you just cannot or should not get accustomed to in this world.
Fortunately, he gets to return to playing tennis this week. If there is one place Federer can feel comfortable, it is on the court, where he controls most of the action.
In the upcoming tournament, the No. 1 player in the world has the top seed and a first-round bye. He then has a few matches against weaker opponents to get acclimated with the court and make sure he feels good.
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Federer cannot face a top-10 seed until the quarterfinals, where either Juan Monaco or Marin Cilic could be waiting. In fact, the only elite threat in the entire half of the bracket is Andy Murray, who would present a tough challenge in the semifinals if both reach that stage.
Conversely, the bottom half of the bracket contains Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic. Each of these men have the talent to beat anyone in the world on a given day, but they will spend time beating each other before possibly facing the top player in the finals.
The Swiss player does not need any favors, but an easy stretch in the first couple of matches can do wonders for clearing his mind of the unfortunate distraction. If he is able to do that, he can leave with his seventh tournament win of the year as he keeps his top ranking in the world.
Follow me on Twitter, my words are more powerful than a John Isner serve.