10/08/2012 08:38 am ET

Roger Federer: Death Threat Is ‘Bit Of A Distraction' Ahead Of Shanghai Masters

By Matt Cronin,

Roger Federer admits that the online death threat he received recently was somewhat of a disturbance. An Internet user calling himself “Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07” posted a graphic message about the Swiss on the popular site.

"Obviously maybe it's a little bit of a distraction, there's no doubt about it,” Federer said at pre-tournament press conference for the Shanghai Masters 1000 tournament. “But you have to be aware of what's happening around you," he said. “But that is the case anyway anywhere I go today with my fame and all that stuff."

Federer admitted he first became aware of the issue about 10 days ago, before the information went public.

"So then obviously it came out in the press. That's when things changed.” he said. "It became much more public, which I'm a bit disappointed about, that it did come out in the press. "It was something just very small on a website, nothing clear and concrete, people just debating. That it makes that big news is a bit surprising to me."

Federer's wife Mirka and their twin daughters did not travel to China as previously reported, but he said it had nothing to do with the death threat: "It was a last-minute decision for me to come here in the first place,” he said.

Federer did not play the Shanghai Masters in 2011.