Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Gold! And A New Record!

Congratulations Sultan, you've taken gold after another impressive display, breaking another personal best record along the way. How does it feel?

It feels amazing Gary, I'm over the moon. All my hard work over the past year in particular, has paid off and culminated in these superb results. July has been the best month of my career and I'm now unbeaten since February. When you think about where I was this time last year, it's a great achievement.

How will you be celebrating?

I might treat myself to a stuffed crust on my pizza and some women's beach volleyball but apart from that,  I won't be celebrating at all, Gary. I've still a long way to go before I achieve all I want to achieve. I'll be playing the joint event in Washington this week, so no time for taking it easy - straight back to the grind for me.

How do you think your parents felt, watching their son battling away? Can you sum up how difficult it must have been?

I've no idea, I'm not bothered. It's much harder for me than for them.

Have you been talking to Andy Murray?

No, I can't stand the sour-faced dullard. Though I do respect him as a sportsman etc etc.

What about these rumours that you may be turning pro now?

That's all they are Gary, rumours. For now, I'll remain an amateur and keep learning my trade. Although this is my third season, I only have 6 months of consistency with my game. I would like to complete a whole season of consistency before even considering becoming a professional. Ask me again in another 6 months!

You'll be the first to admit that last season was well below par for the standards you set yourself. What do you attribute to your change in fortunes this season?

Hard work, Gary  - it's that simple. Hard work along with self belief, positivity and a never-say-die attitude. When I was at my lowest, I always used it as a spur to train harder and find solutions to my problems. I wanted to prove the doubters and the knockers wrong too, particularly an imbecile called Aaron, who I seem to remember calling me a 'fucking moron' in a rant saying I should just give up - classic 'projection psychology'. Yes, this victory feels particularly sweet knowing I've shoved that bile back down his throat. If you don't have the motivation to get through the tough times that this game inevitably brings, you've got no chance of surviving.

So what next for the Sultan?

I never want to get over-confident because I know the damage that can do, so I want to keep my head down and stay solid and professional. I am not 'there' yet and this game can chew you up and spit you out in an instant and when you least expect it. But I am starting to fulfill my potential and there is huge scope to go much, much further.

We are now into the final third of the season, so I've got the US Open Grand Slam to look forward to. I have high hopes of making it my best ever Slam performance. It's a shortened season this year by a couple of weeks, so November is going to be much quieter than previous years. That's not really ideal for me but I suspect I'll be using the extended off-season to maybe get back into football. I think with my new found skills, I should be able to apply them to football with more successful results - watch this space, Gary!

Sultan, thanks for taking the time to talk to the BBC; you are a true gent and a class act.

A little bit arse-licky Gary but yes, yes I am.

NB: I asked in my last post who the tennis playing flag-bearers were at the opening ceremony. Here they are:

Marcos Baghdatis - Cyprus
Novak Djokovic - Serbia
Maria Sharapova - Russia
Agnieszka Radwanska - Poland
Stanislas Wawrinka - Switzerland
Stephanie Vogt - Liechtenstein

and doubles players (which Ionut C pointed out in the comments and I initially forgot about!):

Horacio Tecau - Romania
Max Mirnyi - Belarus

Valeria Solovieva:


  1. Lol solid interview there! great results...keep it going...

    1. Cheers Sledge! Is your blog still going? You didn't post anything for months so I had a bit of a clean up. Let me know if you want it re-adding.

  2. Hi m8, not added for quite a full time now, and took a few hits, done a few good trades with the evening olympic matches though...maybe I should post again...;)

  3. Well done Sultan....I'll be watching out for you on BBC from now on!

  4. Thanks Mark, I won't be taking interviews with them till they get rid of Garry Richardson though ;)

  5. They say the first sign of madness is talking to yourself, and after you've given yourself a full blown interview, I'd say you are well and truly gone with the fairies! Having said that, if madness brings these kind of results, I want in! :)

    Well done mate!

  6. Trading sent me mad years ago Jack, gonna need a few more months like this before I return to sanity!

  7. hey sultan - congrats on your results and your blog. i have only recently been put onto your blog and have basically read through the entire thing in 2 days - quite a ride!!
    i note your talk of betdaq dropped off significantly this calendar year and im wondering what the rationale behind this was? i kept a pretty close eye on betdaq volumes through the olympic finals as well the final of the citi open in Washington and to be frank the volumes were quite pitiful..
    can you provide an updated view of the following:
    - betdaq volumes
    - betfair PC
    and teh future of each..


    1. Cheers Tangles. I haven't even looked at Betdaq since January so can't give you any real info. I stopped talking about them because they pissed me off! They had an unbelievable opportunity to gain some new customers during a day of planned downtime on Betfair which (needlessly and unfairly in my opinion) disrupted an entire day of tennis trading during a big tournament. They didn't offer any deals or even mention on their website what was happening - I tried harder than they did to get people to give Betdaq a go and that is no joke!

      Betdaq volumes went up after the super PC last year. Can't remember amounts but there are screenshots from a post I did last July or August, which will show you that some televised matches had more liquidity than on Betfair. By January, those volumes had gone back down to what they were before the super PC.

      As for the future, I have no idea what Betfair will do next. Doubt they'll go higher than 50% but they definitely won't be lowering it without competition. The big players moved away for a couple of months but all came back when they realised that none of the small fish had moved with them. That will never change without a big injection of cash into Betdaq marketing. Ladbrokes are looking into working with or maybe even buying Betdaq from what I've read and a takeover like this would seem the only way that exchange could catch up with Betfair. But even then, would you trust Ladbrokes not to introduce a similar charge at some point?

      They are probably more interested in the technology behind the exchange rather than the actual exchange but profit is still profit and if they can gain more by aquiring Betfair's customer base, I don't see why anyone would not want to do that. It' so simple on paper - match Betfair's expenditure on marketing so the ordinary punter is aware, promise no premium charge and you will eventually over-take them because there will be no reason for anyone to use BF. I'm just amazed it hasn't happened yet, with William Hill or Paddy Power or someone but something will happen one day - just could be years before it does, which is no good for us using the exchanges today.


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