So who are the best Ping Pong players ever?
How do we determine that?
There’s only one way – their performance in tournaments, and achievements.
ITTF was formed in 1926 but it was only until 1988 that Table Tennis officially became a part of the olympic games.
As a result, the following compilation only considers players after that time.
Best Table Tennis Players Ever
These are (in our opinion) the 7 best Table Tennis players of all time.
Not only have they won multiple Ping Pong tournaments, but they have a seemingly endless list of achivements in their illustrious careers.
Most people on the following list are from Asia, they seem to have a monopoly over the game. Germany and other parts of the world follow.
7. Deng Yaping
This Chinese-born female Table Tennis player went on to become one of the best players ever to play the game.
She has won 4 consecutive gold medals in her decade-long career, which is a record in its own right.
- 40th championship: Gold
- 1995 world cup: Gold
- 42nd championship: Gold
- 43rd Championship: Gold
6. Liu Guoliang
Liu is the current Chinese Table Tennis coach. He has won a career grand slam and is only the 2nd player in history to achieve this landmark.
Born in 1976, he has won titles in all the major tournaments which include Olympic games, world cup, and world championships.
- World championship: Gold
- World cup: Gold
- Olympic Games: Gold
- Current Chinese Ping Pong coach
5. Qiao Hong
Having won four medals in the major competitions, Chinese-born Qiao Hong has made a name for herself in her illustrious career.
When people talk about the best table tennis players of all time, there’s a reason why her name comes up every time.
The 1968-born player was inducted in the ITTF hall of fame in 2005.
4. Jan-Ove Waldner
Without a doubt, Waldner is among the best non-Chinese Table Tennis players who is remembered for his impressive hand-eye coordination.
Hailing from Sweden, Waldner was very well-known across the world in the 1990s when his career was at its peak.
He won a Swedish title against an opponent who was born on the same year Jan-Ove won his first title. Quite an achievement, right?!
He had one of the longest career spans in the history of the game earning him the nickname “Evergreen Tree”.
- 1992 Olympic games: Gold
- 1996 European championship: 3x Gold (singles, doubles, team)
- 2000 Olympic games: Silver
3. Xu Xin
Xu Xin beat the world number #1 Ma Long thrice in 2014, and twice in 2016.
He used a Shakehand grip, and defeated Long not just in the finals, but also in semifinals in Japan Open 2016. He’s surely among the best Ping Pong players.
- 2-time world champion
- 2016 Korea Open title: Winner
- World Tour Grand Finals 2012: Winner
- World Tour Grand Finals 2013: Winner
- Asian Cup 2012: Winner
- Asian Cup 2013: Winner
2. Wang Liqin
As per ITTF, Wang Liqin was at the top of the mountain for 25 consecutive months between 2004 and 2006.
A Table Tennis prodigy, he started young at 6 years old and went on to join the National team at age 15.
He used a signature Shakehand grip that allowed him to play his attacking style.
- World #1 for 25 consecutive months between 2004 – 2006
- 2000 Olympic games Sydney: Gold (doubles)
- 2004 Olympic games Athens: Bronze (singles)
- 3-time world champion
1. Ma Long
Ma Long is considered to be the best Ping Pong player ever.
A prodigy, Long soared to popularity after having won junior championships in 2004. Since then, his career has seen an exponential growth.
Ma Long holds a record of winning 5 ITTF Pro Tour tournaments in a row, hence earning him the nickname “ITTF Pro Tour King”.
He is also the 5th player in history to have won the Grand Slam – World cup, Olympics, and World championships. Long uses a DHS Hurrican Long 5 blade.
- 2004 Junior Tournament: Winner
- 2010 Asian Games: Gold
- Winning streak of 5 tournaments with 35 sets in a row
- Grand slam – only the 5th player in history to do so
Wrap Up - Who's the Best Ping Pong Player?
That brings us to the end of this article.
No two Ping Pong players are the same, they use a different style of play with each having their own elegance.
So, who in your opinion is the best Table Tennis player of all time and why?
Or did we miss anyone who’s worthy of a mention?
Would you like to see a fantasy match between your favorite players?
Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment down below!