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Top 10 greatest Table Tennis players of all time

Here check out the top 10 greatest table tennis players of all time. Over time, the world has seen many phenomenal table tennis players, however some legendary ones have left fans awestruck by their skill sets.

Last updated: 05.05.2022
Top 10 greatest Table Tennis players of all time

Over time, the world has seen many phenomenal table tennis players, however some legendary ones have left fans awestruck by their skill sets. Ranking the greatest players yet remains an incredibly challenging and subjective feat. In order to objectively enumerate the greatest players of all time this list takes into consideration all of the past performances, achievements and rankings.

Stick through the list and tell us whether your views are in accordance with ours: 

1. Ma Long 

Currently ranked World No. 3, Chinese player Ma Long, remains to be one of the only male players in the world to win every single title in the table tennis game. Another feather to his cap, is the unbeatable record of being ranked World No. 1 for 64 consecutive months. This superstar is also our current Olympic and World champion as well as the captain for the Chinese National Table Tennis men's team. In recent years, he also broke the record by winning 28 ITTF World Tour titles out of which he won 5 in a row. He is three times Asian champion and two times China national champion, and now is also known as the best Chinese table tennis player.


2. Jan - Ove Waldner

Referred to as "Mozart of Table Tennis", "Lao Wa" (Old Waldner), Jan is the best non-Chinese player of all time. He started his career at the age of 16, and has numerous accolades under his name since then. He has been the winner of the Swedish Championships, World Championships, European Championships and was also able to be one of the only 5 players to complete the career grand slam. After bagging the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics, he was also awarded the Svenska Dagbladet gold medal.


3. Liu Guoliang

Only the second man to achieve a Grand Slam of 3 major titles, Liu Guoliang remains to be one of the greatest and most successful table tennis players and coaches of all time. Having several feathers to his hat, Guoliang has won major titles in all World tournaments including the World Championships, Olympic Games and the World Cup. At the end of his successful career, he was appointed as the head coach for the National Men's team. Later on, he was also appointed as the president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association in late 2018.


4. Deng Yaping


An inspiration to all the aspiring female table tennis players, Deng Yaping was the only female player to hold the World No. 1 rank for 8 consecutive years. Moreover, at the time of her retirement she had also won the most titles among both men and women. This tennis prodigy, won the World Championships several times and was also voted as the Chinese athlete of the century. Although she was positioned on the ITFF Hall of Fame she was denied a spot on the national team just because of the size. This however, didn't stop this superstar, as right after her retirement from table tennis she started to pursue her academic career in Chinese universities.


5. Wang Liqin


At 15 years of age, Wang Liqin had already started playing for the Chinese Men's National team. Moreover, he was ranked as the world's top table tennis player in the 2004-06 period and was also ranked as World No.1 for 25 months consecutively. Like the other greats, he too has won major titles in World tournaments including the World Championships and Olympic Games. After his retirement, he grew to be one of the most successful table tennis coaches of the Shanghai team at the Chinese Super League.

6. Guo Yue


One of the most talented left-handed attack players, Guo Yue is ranked as the 6th best table tennis player on our list. She was one of the most versatile players, as she remained unbeatable in different categories including singles, doubles and mixed. Moreover, Yue has also achieved victories in major tournaments such as the Olympic games, World Championships and the Asian Cup. Yue has also been the Single Women's Champion and Mixed Double's Champion in the 2007 WTTC as well as the Women Team Champion in the 2008 WTTC. After the 2012 Olymics, Yue decided to retire and then pursue her academic interests at Tsinghua University, in the year 2015.


7. Zhang Jike


The fourth male player to ever achieve a career Grand Slam title in table tennis history is Zhang Jike. Jike displayed astounding talent when he won the Men's Singles Gold at the 2012 London Olymics in a record time of 445 days only. This famous and highly respected player won WTTC 2011, World Cup 2011, and London Olymics 2012 consecutively, making him the fastest player to ever win a Grand Slam. Thereafter, Jike has won numerous WTTC and World Cups and now is on his way to win his next Olympics.


8. Xu Xin


The conventional Chinese Table Tennis player, Xu Xin is now ranked as World No. 2 in Men's Singles by the ITTF. He is one the very few table tennis experts to have mastered the shake hand and Penhold grips in China. His career achievements include winning 17 World Singles titles, 3 Men's Doubles titles and 2 Mixed Doubles titles. Xin has also played for the Shanghai Zhongxing club. Xin reached his career highest when he was ranked World No.1 in the year 2013 and won the men's team title along with Ma Long at the 2016 Summer Olympics.


9. Ichiro Ogimura


Ichiro Ogimura is known to be the best table tennis players of all time. He has a great number of accolades under his name, including the achievement of 3 English Open titles, 12 World Championship titles. Ogimura started player table tennis in the year 1948 and was one of the key players in various Ping Pong Diplomacy events. After his retirement, Ogimura got involved in the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japan Table Tennis Association. In order to honour all his achievements, Ichiro's name was also inducted in the ITTF Hall of Fame.


10. Wang Hao


This talented player is mostly recognised for his offensive penholder grip. It was his unbeatable style that led him to achieve the World Championship in Men's Single in the year 2009. Other feathers in his cap include being a three-time winner of the World Cup Championships and a silver medallist at the Olympic games. Notably, Hao has also won the Chinese National games, Asian championships and Asian Cup. One of his most noteworthy achievements however is being ranked as World No. 1 for 27 consecutive months by the ITTF. This respectable player retired in the year 2014.

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