Sairul Amar Ayob - His Story

Discussion in 'Malaysia Professional Players' started by adelina76, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. adelina76

    adelina76 Regular Member

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    World no.16 and recently crowned 2005 Equinox NZ Open Men's Singles Champion, Sairul Amar Ayob has kindly took time from his busy schedule to grant me an exclusive interview, talking about himself, his departure from BAM, his games and goals. Our dialogue went like this:

    Adelina: Congratulations Sairul for winning the inaugural NZ Open!
    Sairul: Thank you, I am very happy with the win.

    A: So, how do you find this tournament?
    S: It's very good. Well organised, great crowd support. Only a few small hiccups like sometimes there's a lot of waiting around and also transportation not always punctual, but other than that, it's great!

    A: So take us through your game today.
    S: It was my first final in an IBF Tournament so I was a bit nervous and a few of my shots did not work for me but overall, I am glad that I managed to win in straight sets as this was definitely the hardest game in the tournament for me.

    A: How would you rate your opponent today, Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong?
    S: He's very good. I've never played him before but he smashed very hard and moved very fast and I look forward to playing him again in the future.

    A: You have lots of fans from the Badminton Central website that I told you about and some of them have questions for you, would you mind answering them?
    S: Sure, be glad to and please send my regards to them and thank them for their support.
    A: Sure, will do.

    A: So why did you choose to play in the NZ Open Sairul, given that it is only a 1 star tournament. Is it because it's relatively close to Malaysia?
    S: No, it's not because of the distance. I am no longer affliated with BAM and now play for a private club that is owned by Datuk Andrew and he decides on the tournaments I play. His goal for me is to first win a few smaller IBF Grand Prix tournaments to improve my ranking so I will be seeded higher in bigger tournaments next time to avoid meeting seeded players too early on in the tournament.

    A: Like you said, as you are no longer affliated with BAM, how do you fund for your tournaments? Does Datuk Andrew sponsor everything?
    S: Yes, I would really like to thank Datuk Andrew for all his support. His sponsorship covers everything including travel expenses, tournament entry fees and even allowances during tournaments.

    A: Another question a BC member wants to know is how do you train? What's like your daily training routine?
    S: I train 6 days a week. My normal routine would be running in the morning, then weights, then on court training with our club's coach Indra Gunawan. On certain days, instead of running and weights, I have full day of on court training.
    A: How long does each on court training session last?
    S: 2.5 to 3 hours depending on what I'm working on that day.

    A: So you play badminton full time then? Or do you do any other work?
    S: (Laughed) No way I can do other work, too tired! Yes, full time badminton player.

    A: Now that you're not affliated with BAM, how does this affect your performance?
    S: Coaching and financially, I'm ok as Indra is a good coach and I'm well sponsored by Datuk Andrew but I do find it difficult not having sparring partners that most BAM players would have training together.

    A: Also, does your non-affliation with BAM prevent you from playing in the more prestigious tournaments like All England and Thomas Cup?
    S: No, not really. I just have to work harder and prove myself to BAM that they should pick me to represent Malaysian in those tournaments.
    A: And will they pick you base solely on your performance? That is to say, if you say become the no.1 player in Malaysia based on international ranking, will you then be able to play in these tournaments?
    S: Yes, that's my understanding of how it would work.
    A: Can BAM actually still decide to NOT let you play despite your high ranking and performance?
    S: In principle, yes, they can do that because I'm not affliated with them but I hope that this matter will be discussed harmoniously between us and they will let me play.

    A: Work together like how Nusa Mahsuri (then headed by Misbun) worked together with BAM?
    S: Yeah, like that but obviously not so ideal because the team spirit not as strong.
    A: Is it true that BAM wants you to go back to them?
    S: Yes, but I will not go back and train under Misbun.
    A: So why were you dropped in the first place Sairul?
    S: I have no idea except to say that Misbun personally disliked me. The decision to drop me was never even discussed with me before hand. I just got a phone call one day from him to say that I'm dropped and thanks for my service to Malaysia and that was it.
    A: How did you take the news?
    S: Not very well. I do not like politics like that so that's why I am now glad that I'm playing for a private club and not have to deal with this anymore.

    A: Ok Sairul, a bit of history. When did you start playing badminton?
    S: When I was 11.
    A: When did you start playing professionally?
    S: Joined the badminton academy in 1997, made it to back-up national squad in 1998 and played first international tournament for Malaysia in the 1999 Singapore Sateline tournament.

    A: What racquet are you using?
    S: I'm sponsored by Apacs and so I use their racquets.
    A: Never heard of them before. Where are they based in?
    S: They're a Malaysian made products, same company as Pro Ace.

    A: Let's talk about your most recent international badminton results. In the recent Singapore Open, you lost to eventual winner Taufik Hidayat 14-17, 4-15 in round of last 16. Was it a good game?
    S: Yes, it was a good first set but I lost my concentration and stamina in the second set.

    A: Then in the Proton Malaysian Open, you lost to Chen Hong in the 3rd round. What was that like?
    S: Yeah, lost to him in 3 sets. Quite annoying as I beat him in the 2001 Danish Open. He's more experienced now and so I have to work harder next time to beat him.

    A: In your career, what would you describe as your best game?
    S: It was against Taufik in the 2002 Indonesian Open. I won the first set and leading 11-3 in the second but he won that set 15-13 and the 3rd set as well, but I was most satisfied with my game then, but he just played really well.
    A: Your worst game?
    S: In the 2004 Singapore Open against Boonsak Ponsana. Everything just went wrong for me that day.

    A: Who do you most enjoyed playing?
    S: Taufik
    A: Most hated playing?
    S: Ng Wei of Hong Kong.

    A: Your most admired player? Let me guess, Taufik?
    S: (smiled broadly) Yes. I want to be able to play like him.

    A: Your most memorable tournament?
    S: 2001 Danish Open when I beat Chen Hong who was then the tournament's top seed.

    A: Favourite tournament and why?
    S: All England - Everything is perfect there, you can never complain about anything. The court's perfect, no draughts, shuttles, organisers etc. The best.

    A: Your proudest moment on court?
    S: Today actually, winning my first Grand Prix tournament.
    A: So does that mean you'll come back to defend your title next year?
    S: I hope so, but depends on my schedule and what my sponsor wants me to do.

    A: Proudest moment off court?
    S: Hmmmms, I can't think of one at the moment, but it would be when I can buy my first car with my own badminton prize money! (Laughed)

    A: What would you say would be your favourite shot to make on court?
    S: Cross court smashes [Note: He did a few of those in the finals too!]
    A: Would that also be you think the strongest aspect of your game?
    S: Actually, in my opinion, my strongest aspect of my game is my net play.
    A: What about your weakest?
    S: Lack of stamina / endurance (made funny faces)

    A: What's the best advice your coach has ever given you?
    S: Basically never to underestimate my opponent or be too over confident and to stay focus before every match and to treat each match as if it's a finals of a tournament.

    A: What are your goals at the moment?
    S: I want to reach top 10 before December, do well in my next tournament which is the Asian Badminton Confederation Championship in India next week and to represent Malaysia in Thomas Cup next year.

    A: Finally Sairul, what do you like doing when you're not playing badminton?
    S: I like hanging out with my friends at kopi-tiam (coffee shop) and spending time with my family as well.
    A: Thanks once again for this interview Sairul and I wish you very best for your next tournament and hope to see you do well internationally, and maybe see you back here next year!
    S: Thank you very much. I will try and look up this website when I get back to Malaysia.

    Sairul's Bio:
    Name: Sairul Amar Ayob
    Date of Birth: 10 September 1980
    Place of Birth: Kangar, Malaysia
    Right/Left hander: Right
    Racquet: Apacs
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: Skinny :D
    Won: Equinox NZ Open 2005
     
  2. Brave_Turtle

    Brave_Turtle Regular Member

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    WaHhh Thanks alot!

    He really seems to like Taufik. By the way, do you know why he hates to play against Ng Wei?
     
  3. adelina76

    adelina76 Regular Member

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    No, he didn't actually say why but I suspect that it's simply different styles of play and Ng Wei probably frustrates Sairul with his style of play.

    Adelina
     
  4. ironchef

    ironchef Regular Member

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    Ng Wei rallies so much. Stamina game. Rallies you to death.
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Thank you Adelina for such a pleasant interview.

    Yes I watched Ayob's game against Taufik at this year's Singapore Open and I was quite surprised that he played very well in his first game. Of course he practically gave up the second as he admitted he ran out of steam! :D

    A player to watch certainly and I hope he improves on his endurance. I also think it is not to Malaysia's advantage for depriving Ayob of a place in BAM's training squad and if indeed Misbun was responsible for dropping him with apparently no good reason, then Misbun certainly owes Ayob an apology. :(

    I also hope that Ayob will train harder to prove himself worthy of donning Malaysian colours. His task is not easy now that Malaysia still has three very capable singles players in Chong Wei, Hafiz and Choong Hann.
     
  6. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Nice coverage and the interview with Sairul. :)
     
  7. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    A wonderful interview adelina and thanks for introducing Sairul to BC. It's too bad that BAM is so involved with politics, it explains why MAL does so poorly for the last 10 years or so, in all catergory. Sairul seem to have the right attitude and built for a top seed MS player. He beats ChenHong and took a game from taufik (taufik had some trouble with boonsak at the WC too) means Sairul just need some small tweaking and tournament experience to be a at least a top 10 MS player. I think MAL can use a rising star like Sairul since i see wong CH and Hafiz is slipping, falling stars IMO.
     
  8. jug8man

    jug8man Regular Member

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    excelent interview adelina!

    your research on him is superb as well.


    cheers from sunny side Malaysia

    8man
     
  9. kokcheng

    kokcheng Regular Member

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    A well thought out interview.Factual and informative.Sairul must continue to believe that one day he will represent Malaysia in major competitions.Ihave seen Sairul played before.He is a skilful player.His fitness,however,is much to be desired.Go for it,sairul and your dream car will come sooner than you can think of.:cool:
     
  10. hcyong

    hcyong Regular Member

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    This sort of interview is great. Before this, it is difficult to relate to him, even though we're both Malaysians. Now, I will give him more support.
     
  11. jug8man

    jug8man Regular Member

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    Adelina!

    every badminton player should want you to be their promoter / publicist by now!

    just look at the public support you have generated in BC for Sairul.

    great job again.


    cheers from sunny side Malaysia

    8man
     
  12. alfa2

    alfa2 Regular Member

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  13. fishnet wen*yi

    fishnet wen*yi Regular Member

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    not necessarily. there are plenty of political problems in our country's badminton organisations.. we have so many players after all.
     
  14. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    good to be reminded of this old interview :)

    And to all the people who say that APACS is made in the UK, here's your answer straight from an APACS sponsored PRO :D
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I just broke an Apac Nano7000 racket or was it that the racket broke on me? :(

    When I left the court after a game, I placed it on the bench and went to the toilet. On my return, I found the frame twisted and collasped on one side. There was no clash of rackets before this. Some thought that it could have been the result of too high tension but I strung it to about 25 pounds.
    only.

    However, it was done on a tennis stringing machine and the poundage might not be that accurate. It could have been strung slightly higher. Could this be the reason? :mad:

    BTW Sairul Ayob is now a player with the prestigious KL Racket Club, where Joanne Quay and a few other ex-Internationals are also players.
     
    #15 Loh, Nov 27, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  16. Shyen

    Shyen Regular Member

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    thanks for that!!wow...he's already 26...hehe!!...i thought he's only 20!!any pics of him??
     
  17. yannie

    yannie Regular Member

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    Pics for Wen Jie.. Hihihi :D

    Dutch Open 2007...
     

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  18. meiying

    meiying Regular Member

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    jie must be very happy *hihi. Yay!
     
  19. Dato A

    Dato A Regular Member

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    He is good, but not good enough....
     
  20. george@chongwei

    george@chongwei Regular Member

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    IMO, i think he is very good enough already:p:p
    at least better than yoyo:D
     

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