Table tennis is a ball game similar to lawn tennis, also known as Ping-Pong. There is a flat surface on the table, and the playing area is divided into two equal parts by two equal sides. On the Luxury pool table ping pong combo, an equal amount of space is divided by a net placed in the middle of its width. Before looking into the Top 10 Table Tennis Players, Let’s dive into the brief history of Table tennis games.
Known more commonly in the US as Ping Pong, table tennis was invented in England in the 1880s. When it was too cold to play outside, it was an adaptation of the popular lawn tennis game. There have been table tennis for more than 140 years, and a great deal has changed during that time. As a game once played by the upper class in their homes, millions now played in hundreds of countries. We’ll take a look at some of the significant players in the history of table tennis in this post.
Best Table Tennis Players of All Time
What is the best way to determine who the most outstanding player is? In terms of their accomplishments, of course. Asians have by far the most significant competitive edge in this sport, followed by Germans and other nations from around the globe.
Let’s look into the All-time best table tennis players:
10. Wang nan
Initially from Liaoning, Wang Nan plays table tennis for the Chinese national team. From January 1999 to November 2002, Wang ranked as the world’s no.1 player according to the ITTF ranking system. Having learned table tennis at the age of seven, she is a left-handed player.
The former world no.1 table tennis player Wang Nan was at Rank 1 for nearly four years from 1999 to 2002, winning all the major titles, including the doubles and singles titles at the 2000 Olympics. She won two more gold medals at the following two Olympics, in the doubles event (with Zhang) and the team event in 2008. Zhang defeated her in 2008 final and also in the 2004 quarterfinals.
9. Timo boll
Timo Boll played table tennis starting at just the age of four. He was born in Erbach, Germany. In 1986, he joined the TSV Höchst club. Helmut Hampel, a trainer from Hesse, discovered Boll’s talent at the age of eight, and Hampel promoted Boll after that.
As a second division player with FTG Frankfurt, Boll changed teams in 1994. A year later, he was invited to join TTV Gönnern after earning a reputation there.
He won three gold medals at the 1995 European Youth Championships in Table Tennis. Later that year, he would claim a silver medal at the European Youth Championships in the Junior Boys Singles. After that, he won two more golds in singles in the two years following.
Boll won the European Top 12 Tournament that year 2002. He won the competition by beating Vladimir Samsonov, becoming the first German to do so. In his career, Boll went on to win six more such matches. At the World Cup, Boll also won the singles title to cap off a successful year.
8. Deng yapping
Deng Yaping was born in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, on February 5, 1973. In the history of the sport, she is considered among the most significant players.
Due to her short stature (1.55 meters [4 feet 11 inches]), it was evident that she was talented and eventually included in the national team.
She won six world championships and four Olympic championships between 1989 and 1997. She won her first national championship at the age of 13.
When Deng was five, she won the provincial junior championship, and four years later, she became a national champion. From 1991 to 2003, she was the number one table tennis player in the world for eight consecutive years.
7. Xu Xin
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) ranks Chinese table tennis player Xu Xin as the world’s Number 3 in the men’s singles category. In January 2013, he ranked number one in his career in singles for the first time.
He won 17 titles on the World Tour Singles, four titles in men’s doubles and two titles in mixed doubles, and five titles in the team event.
6. Guo Yue
Guo Yue was born in Anshan, China, where she honed her passion for the sport and developed a solid foundation. In addition to being left-handed, Guo uses a shake hand grip to play.
In 2008, Guo won a bronze medal in the singles events at the Olympics in Beijing, and she went on to win the Asian Cup and the world table tennis women’s team championship in the same year. The women’s singles and mixed doubles titles she won at the 2007 world table tennis championship preceded this achievement.
5. Wang Liqin
At six years old, he started developing his style, and at 15, he was a member of the Chinese National team. The 6-foot-1-inch height also gives him a massive advantage for acceleration and stronger shots, which complements his famed shake handgrip, making him the most influential player in the world of table tennis.
Liqin ranked within the top five of the ITTF rankings for 25 consecutive months from 2004 to 2006. He has three world championship titles, a bronze medal for the singles at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and a gold medal for the doubles at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
4. Ma Lin
He learned table tennis at the age of five. His national team debut was in 1994. He was appointed as the head coach for the provincial team of Guangdong after retiring in December 2013.
He was the men’s singles and men’s Team champion at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He won Gold at the 2007 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals Men’s Singles.
3. Zhang Jike
Zhang was born on February 16, 1988, in In Qingdao, Shandong Province. His father coaches table tennis. In tribute to Brazilian soccer coach Zico, Zhang was given the name Zico. Zhang started playing table tennis at the age of four.
With his Gold in men’s singles at the Olympic Games in London 2012, Zhang became the fourth male player in history to achieve a career in Grand Slam. It took Zhang 445 days to win the Grand Slam. As a result of his success, he became the fastest person to win a Grand Slam by winning WTTC 2011, World Cup 2011, and London Olympics 2012. He won the World Team Championship in 2013 and the World Cup in 2014.
2. Jan-Ove Waldner
A Swedish table tennis player, Waldner is considered to be among the greatest of all time. His popularity in China was said to have exceeded that of Bill Clinton when he was president of the United States in the 1990s.
Waldner is the only non-Chinese player on this list of Grand Slam winners. Among his considerable achievements, Waldner’s most impressive is that he played in the sport for more than 30 years, and he did so through three generations.
One of his most memorable achievements was winning his ninth Swedish title against a player born the same year as his first victory. The length of his career allowed him to compete against people whose former opponents were training to become professionals, thus earning him the nickname “Evergreen Tree” among the Chinese. He was the only player in 1996 to win three gold medals at the European Championships – one in the singles, one in the doubles, and one in the team.
1. Ma Long
Ma Long, a Chinese professional table tennis player, born on October 20, 1988, has earned his position among the top players. He won the World Junior Championships in 2004. During his junior career, He was a gold medalist at the Asian Games in 2010.
In March 2015, he was ranked number 2 globally, but since then, he has been holding his world number 1 title for more than 30 months. With a 35-match winning streak, Long has won five ITTF Pro Tour tournaments in a row.
He is the first male ping pong player to win every match in the ITTF Pro Tour. As of today, he is only the fifth person to hold all three grand slams – Olympic, World Championship, and World Cup.
The following brief history of table tennis and the list of the top 10 best table tennis players of all time should have provided insight into the game and the history of the game. Are they so, feeling inspired to play?