Athletes bring glory to their countries and however much we applaud them for their achievements, it’s just not enough. But sometimes, athletes have to face lunatic fans and the experience can leave one with a bitter aftertaste. Something similar happened to Barbora Strycova who on Monday (July 3) was unexpectedly threatened by a ‘so-called’ follower during her first round match in Wimbledon.

Strycova won against Veronica Cepede Royg by 6/3 6/3. The incident occurred when she was walking towards the court after a break due to the rain, the World No. 23 was stunned to hear someone shouting: “I have big money for you. If you do not win, I will find you.”

Presuming it was some punter, Strycova revealed, I came to the court with stress.

After the match, Strycova informed the officials about the man who — she noticed — was wearing a green T-shirt, and had a short hair with beard. “I do not want to complain, but it’s a very unpleasant thing, and if they tell you they’re gonna kill your family and you do not have (deserve) Christmas, it’s disgusting,” said the Czech player, who is up against Naomi Osaka in her next game.

Many other players too have faced similar experiences. Earlier this year, British player Kyle Edmund received threatening messages from bettors. Last December, Australian player Sam Groth got in touch with the police after receiving threats online. And who can forget the attack on Monica Seles, who was stabbed by a crazed fan way back in 1993?

This kind of behaviour in a sporting event is extremely disturbing. Athletes not only get distracted, but also find it hard to focus again on their game. It’s high time such people were dealt with sternly.

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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