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In this post, we will check out the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time.
Table tennis, as an Olympic sport, has seen many greats come and go throughout the years. But, as it turns out, there are a select few players who have left their mark on the game in such a way that it’s difficult to compare them to anyone else.
So, who are the best table tennis players of all time? After taking a look at the criteria that make for a successful table tennis player, we’ve come up with a list of the ten greatest players of all time.
From world-class maestros like Ma Lin and Liu Guoliang to dominant championship-holders like Ichiro Ogimura and Zhang Jike, these players have it all – championship titles, Olympic gold medals, and legions of fans hungry for more.
So put on your best tennis shoes (or table tennis shoes, if that’s your thing) and get ready to check out these legendary players!
Top 10 Greatest Table Tennis Players Of All Time
Table tennis is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. If you’re looking for a challenging and fun activity that you can do indoors or outdoors, table tennis is a great option.
And if you’re interested in trying it out, these top pros are a great place to start. They’ve mastered both singles and doubles tournaments, making them incredibly skilled players.
Their dedication to the sport has resulted in them becoming some of the greatest table tennis players of all time. If you’re looking to get into table tennis, these are the players you need to be following.
10. Ma Lin
Ma Lin is a former Chinese table tennis player. Lin is the only male player in the history of the game to ever win Olympic gold in Singles, Doubles, and Team.
He also earlier held a professional record of 5 major titles which includes 4 World Cups and 1 Olympic Gold.
Lin has won more World Cups than any other male table tennis player in history. Ma Lin is number 10 in our list of the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time.
9. Ichiro Ogimura
Ichiro Ogimura was a Japanese table tennis player, coach, and former World No. 1. He won a total of 12 World Championship titles during his career.
Ogimura was also a pivotal figure in the Ping Pong Diplomacy events of the earlier 1970s. After retirement, he coached the players in Sweden, China, and the USA.
He was inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame in 1997. Ichiro Ogimura is number 9 in our list of the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time.
8. Deng Yaping
Deng Yaping is a Chinese table tennis player, who has won a total of eighteen world championships which also including four Olympic championships between 1989 and 1997.
She kept the title of number 1 ranked female player for eight years from 1990. She was also voted the most promising Chinese female athlete of the century.
In 2003 she have been drafted into the International Table Tennis Federation Hall of Fame. She is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.
7. Xu Xin
Xu Xin is a Chinese professional table tennis player who is presently ranked world No. 3 for men’s singles by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
He first got his career-high singles ranking of world No. 1 in January 2013. Xu has gained many medals in many international competitions, making him one of the finest ping pong players of all time.
He defeated the world champion, Ma Long, thrice in 2014 and twice in 2016 to advance the world champion position. He is without a doubt one of the greatest table tennis players to ever grace the game.
6. Zhang Jike
Zhang Jike is a Chinese table tennis player. He became the fourth male player in the history of the game to accomplish a career in Grand Slam when he won gold in men’s singles at the Olympic Games in London 2012
Zhang won the Grand Slam in a span of just 445 days. He has done that sequentially, starting with WTTC 2011, then World Cup 2011, and then London Olympics 2012. which made him the fastest player ever to win a Grand Slam.
Zhang was seated in world no. 1 by ITTF from June to December 2012. Zhang Jike is number 6 in our list of the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time.
5. Guo Yue
Guo Yue is a Chinese table tennis player and the 2007 women’s world champion. Yue is an unbelievably gifted female player who is known for her left-handed shake-hand attack.
For her commendable performance, ITTF ranked her number one in 2008. From 2007 January to July, she followed six International Opens and won four gold medals for her outstanding play of the game.
Her career has been full of fusses, she is still number 5 in our list of the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time.
4. Wang Liqin
Wang Liqin is a former Chinese table tennis player. As of January 2014, he is ranked 12th in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
He has been ranked number 1 by ITTF for 25 successive months, from September 2000 to September 2002, which is the second-longest period in the history of the game.
His character proudly gleams in the ITTF hall of fame. He is a three-time world championship winner, Olympic doubles gold medalist, and Olympic singles bronze medalist.
3. Liu Guoliang
Liu Guoliang is a former Chinese table tennis player who has won all titles at major world tournaments including World Championships, World Cup, and Olympic Games.
He is the second man to accomplish a career grand slam in three majors. He is regarded by many to be one of the greatest players and coaches of all time.
Because of his amazing and exceptional records, on December 1st, 2018, he was selected as the president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association.
2. Ma Long
There’s no doubt that table tennis is a sport that is as physically demanding as it is mentally demanding. Ma Long, one of the world’s best table tennis players, has proved this time and time again.
He is widely considered as the greatest table tennis player of all time. Long is the first male player in history to achieve a career Double Grand Slam as the Olympic gold medalist in men’s singles in 2016 and 2020.
He maintained the ranking of number 1 for a total of 64 months, the most by any male in the history of the game.
He is known by the nicknames “The Dictator” and “The Dragon”. Ma Long is number 2 in our list of the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time.
1. Jan-Ove Waldner
Jan-Ove Waldner is a Swedish former table tennis player. He is often directed to as “the Mozart of table tennis.”
Jan is a true sporting legend in his native Sweden as well as in China. He played tennis professionally from the 1990s till 2016. During those years, he won a total of 6 world championship singles medals.
His unique eye-to-hand coordination pushed him to be the greatest player of all time. Because of his longevity in the game, he earned the nickname “Evergreen Tree” among the Chinese population.
After reading through the list of the greatest table tennis players of all time, it’s easy to see why Jan-Ove Waldner is at the top of the list.
His overall record speaks for itself. So, if you’re looking for a table tennis player who is head and shoulders above the rest, look no further than Jan-Ove Waldner!
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