Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland during her match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in round two at the Australian Open.
Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland during her match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in round two at the Australian Open. MARK R. CRISTINO

Tennis stars reveal cyberbullying problem

VICIOUS cyberbullying continues to plague leading tennis players at the Australian Open.

Swiss ace Timea Bacsinszky, who will play Aussie Daria Gavrilova on Saturday in the third round at Melbourne Park, is the latest to speak out against keyboard warriors dishing out hate-filled messages.

Bacsinszky has been subjected to threats including: "I hope you die of cancer" and "B****".

"The situation is dramatic," Bacsinszky said.

According to reports, the 12th seed has delegated the reading of her social media to a friend.

Increased betting on tennis matches has resulted in a spike in cyberbullying.

Last month, Aussie Sam Groth revealed even his family and friends received murder threats.

"The amount of abuse I have copped ... you have never seen anything like it. I get death threats against me, death threats against my family, I get death threats against my girlfriend, she gets death threats and abuse," Groth said.

Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig has severely limited her use of Twitter in response to the harassment.

"Even people I expect would be backing me continue to say I'm not good enough, or that the Olympics was just a piece of luck because I haven't really won that many matches since," Puig told News Australia last month.

"It just takes a while for you to settle down. It took me a while to come off the high of the Olympics and I was actually quite exhausted afterwards last year because I had a lot of commitments and pressure."

South African Kevin Anderson and Americans Madison Keys and Nicole Gibbs have also taken action against cyberbullies.

"I don't think people realise for all of these matches, we get death threats," Keys told CNN.

News Corp Australia


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