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15 Best Table Tennis Players of All Time

Ma Long

15 of the Greatest Table Tennis Players of All Time

According to studies, approximately 300 million people play table tennis in schools, clubs, and sports centers. Despite being a well-known sport, competitive table tennis is only popular in a few countries around the world. Table tennis is primarily ruled by Chinese men and women, who have long dominated the world rankings and medal charts.

15 of the Greatest Table Tennis Players of All Time

Over the years, the world has seen many outstanding table tennis players.

Some exceptional ones, on the other hand, have wowed fans with their abilities.

Nonetheless, ranking the best players is a difficult task because it is a highly subjective subject.

As a result, we have compiled a list of table tennis players from around the world based on their performance, achievements, and rankings.

All-time greatest table tennis players

Table tennis legends such as Jan Ove-Waldner have taken the sport to new heights.

15. Yue Guo

Guo Yue, who was born in 1998, was at her peak in 2007 and 2008.

She won the world championships in women’s singles, mixed doubles, teams, and the Asian Cup during that time

As a result, the ITTF ranked her first in 2008.

Her career, on the other hand, has been riddled with controversies.

Yue was cited in 2010 for “bad behavior” and a lack of interest in table tennis.

It is also assumed that she has disagreements with China’s top player, Wang Nan.

In 2015, she has kicked off the national team.

She is currently pursuing a degree in finance at Tsinghua University.

14. Ogimura, Ichiro

During his career, Japanese table tennis player Ichiro Ogimura also served as a coach and the president of the ITFF.

He reached world number one in September 1954 and won a total of 12 world championships during his career.

He also won three English open championships.

After retiring, he coached players in Sweden, China, and the United States.

In addition, he became involved in the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japanese table tennis association.

He joined the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) as an executive member in 1973 and was elected president in 1987.

Ogura is remembered as a key figure in the early 1970s “ping-pong diplomacy,” earning the moniker “the ping-pong diplomat.” He died of lung cancer in 1994.

12. Boll, Timo

Timo Bell of Germany is one of the few non-Chinese players who has wowed tennis fans.

Despite playing with his left hand, he has mastered his forehand topspin drive and has a quick backhand flip.

He has won numerous major competitions, including the World Cup, the European Championship, and the World Championship Singles.

Bell is well-known for his dedication and time spent honing his craft.

He has been ranked number one in the world three times: in 2003, 2011, and 2018.

Timo Boll is one of the best tennis players in the world.

Timo Boll, a German player, has reached the world number one position three times.

Talking about his personal life, he was born on March 8, 1981, in Erbach im Odenwald.

He began playing at the age of four, with the help of his father.

Since 2002, he has been married to his long-term lover Rodelia Jacobi.

The couple and their daughter, Zoey, live in Germany.

11. Yining Zhang

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, four-time world cup winner Zhang dominated women’s table tennis.

According to a list of her accomplishments, she has won 10 major world titles, including two singles, three doubles, and five team titles.

In addition, she maintained her dominance in the Olympics, winning gold medals in both singles and doubles in 20014 2004.

Between 2003 and 2009, the ITTF ranked her as the world’s top female player.

However, she abruptly ended her career after getting married and having children.

She has since relocated to the United States and expressed a desire to introduce the sport to Americans.

10. Xu Xing’s

On January 8, 1990, Xu Xin, a professional Chinese player, was born.

After winning the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in December 2012, he topped the World Ranking for the first time in 2013.

Since then, Xu has won numerous medals in international competitions, cementing his place as one of the greatest ping-pong players of all time.

He lobs and pushes the ball with the side of the racket forehand using a traditional penhold backhand.

He also has a long arm, which contributes to his ability to execute a unique forehand loop.

Xu Xin is one of the best table tennis players of this and any other decade.

He defeated world champion Ma Long three times in 2014 and twice in 2016 to become world champion.

In terms of career accomplishments, he has won the world tour ten times, two world tour grand finales in 2013 and 2013, and the Asian cup in 2013 and 2016.

9. Nan Wang

Wang Nan is a fantastic player whose strengths lie in her ball placement and overall hitting structure.

Unfortunately, she slipped from world number one to world number two from January 1999 to November 2002.

Her first major success came in 1994 when she won the competitive Swedish Open.

From 1997 to 1998, she won the women’s world table tennis cup, as well as the American and Chinese Opens.

Similarly, she won two gold medals in the 2002 Olympics.

Her team won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

Wang is one of the most talented and well-known female table tennis players.

Regardless of gender, she is regarded as one of the best table tennis players ever!

She has been in charge of the Chinese TT team since Deng Yaping retired.

8. Hao Wang

Wang Hao, 38, is an offensive penholder.

His playing style propelled him to the men’s singles world championship in 2009.

His notable accomplishments include three world cup championships (2007, 2008, and 2010) and two Olympic silver medals (2004, 2008, 2012).

Between 2007 and 2009, he held the world no. 1 ranking for 27 months before being replaced by Ma Long.

Wang Hao is one of the best tennis players in the world.

Wang Hao
Wang Hao Source: Pinterest

For the first time, Wang Hao teaches his son table tennis.

Hao has appeared in the finals of major world competitions twelve times.

He also won the Chinese national games, Asian championships, Asian cup, and Asian games.

In 2014, the talented player announced his retirement.

7. Jike Zhang

Zhang Jike is one of the few table tennis players who has completed the grand slam.

He is also the fastest player to do so, having won all three major titles in 445 days.

Zhang was born in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, on February 16, 1988.

Zhang Chuanming, his father, is a table tennis coach.

The duo has also previously competed as a team in some competitions.

From June to December 2012, Zhang was ranked first in the world by ITTF.

6. Linghui Kong

Kong Linghui, the world’s number one former, was born in 1975 in Harbin, China.

He is well-known for being the third person in tennis history to achieve a career grand slam.

When he was 17, national team coach Cai Zhenhua decided to send him to Sweden for 5 months of exclusive training.

It was an attempt by China to counter the dominance of European men in table tennis in the early 1990s.

Within three years of returning from Sweden, he was ranked number one in the world.

He employs a shake-hand grip style similar to that of top European players from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Jan Ove Waldner.

King is currently the head coach of the Chinese national women’s team.

He was also recently featured in a controversy in which a hotel sued him for failing to repay a $1 million loan from their casino.

5. Liqin Wang

Wang Liqin, who was born in Shanghai in June 1978, began his career in the early 1990s.

During his career, he held the ITTF number one ranking for 25 months in a row!

He has three world championship titles, an Olympic doubles gold medal, and an Olympic singles bronze medal.

Liquids are widely regarded as one of the most powerful shots in table tennis.

His above-average height of 6 feet 1 inch plays a significant role in this powerful shot.

Furthermore, his handgrip grip is excellent.

Another fascinating fact about Liqin is that, unlike most of the other players, he frequently changed his paddles.

Throughout his career, he has used more than ten different racket models.

In 2013, Liqin announced his retirement from professional table tennis.

He does, however, coach his Shanghai team, which competes in the Chinese Super League.

This outstanding player has been inducted into the IITF Hall of Fame.

4. Yaping Deng

Yaping was a tennis prodigy, but her short stature held her back.

Because of her size, she was denied a spot on the national team.

She did, however, make the team in 1988 and won her first world championship title in the women’s doubles.

She also won the singles world championship in 1991, the singles and doubles world championships in 1995, and the world championships in 1997.

She also won both the singles and doubles titles at the Olympics in 1992 and 1996.

Deng Yaping is one of the best tennis players in the world.

Deng Yaping when she was younger

From 1990 to 1997, she was the world’s number-one female player for eight years.

She retired with the most table tennis tiles ever won by either a man or a woman.

Yaping was named China’s athlete of the century and inducted into the ITFF Hall of Fame.

She has pursued an academic career since her retirement, pursuing various degrees at Chinese universities.

3. Guoliang Liu

Liu Guoliang, 46, is only the second player in table tennis history to complete a career grand slam.

The player was born in the Chinese province of Henan in 1976.

After winning all of the major world tournament tiles, he retired at the end of the 2001 season.

He was appointed coach of the Chinese national men’s team at the age of 27.

The gifted did not disappoint in this role either!

He is widely regarded as the most successful table tennis coach in history.

He has coached some of the best players in the world, including Ma Lin, Wang Hao, and Wang Liqin.

Chinese men have won every men’s singles team championship in the world table tennis championships since Liu took over as coach.

His older brother, Liu Gudong, is also a talented table tennis player.

He previously served as the head coach of Singapore’s women’s table tennis team and is now in charge of the Indonesian team.

2. Ove- Waldner, Jan

Jan Ove-Waldner, 57, is a legend in the world of table tennis.

Waldner is the first person to achieve the TT Grand Slam.

Although he is Swedish, he is better known in China as Lao Wa.

He is said to have been more popular in China than American President Bill Clinton during the 2000s.

Jan’s unrivaled serving ability is one of the reasons he is regarded as a great player.

He had mastered the art of returning 75 backhands without making a single mistake by the age of seven.

He also quickly learned how to easily fool opponents with different serve angles, types, and forces.

According to TT analysts, no one else has the kind of connection Jan has with his bat and ball.

As a result, Ove has earned the moniker “The Mozart of table tennis.”

His longevity is another reason for his high regard.

He was a professional tennis player from the 1990s until his last match in 2016.

He won six world championship singles medals during that time period.

Recently, the tennis world has seen younger players surpass Jan Ove’s medal tally.

Waldner’s legend, on the other hand, will undoubtedly live on.

Also, read  Malik Monk,  Kostas Antetokounmpo,  Mo Williams

1. Long Ma

Chinese player Ma Long is ranked second among the best table tennis players.

In recent years, he has won numerous major titles in a row, surpassing the track record of other great players such as Waldner.

The list of his tennis accomplishments is endless.

He has two Olympic gold medals (2016, 2020), three world championship titles in singles (2015, 2017, 2019), and two world championship titles in doubles (2011, 2019).

Ma Long is one of the best tennis players in the world.

Ma Long is widely considered to be the greatest table tennis player of all time.

Furthermore, he has consistently performed well in the world cup, winning two gold medals (2012, 2015), two silver medals (2012, 2015), and three bronze medals (2008,2009, 2017).

He has an incredible 24 ITTF pro tour titles, which is far more than Zhang Jike’s six and Waldner’s four. He has three Asian titles and two Chinese national titles.