Top 15 best ping pong players in the world right now: who is the GOAT?

Top 15 best ping pong players in the world right now: who is the GOAT?

Helix Odhiambo
August 21, 2022 at 7:54 PM

Ping Pong, also known as table tennis, is similar to lawn tennis played on a rectangular flat table divided into two halves by a net. Most of the best ping pong players come from China, a country with a rich history in the sport. So, who is the ping pong goat? Scroll down to discover the top names ever to grace the sport.

Best ping pong players in the world
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Over the years, the world has witnessed many excellent ping pong players showcasing their skills and winning titles. But who is the best ping pong player of all time?

Best ping pong players in the world

Below is a list of the top 15 legendary table tennis players who left fans in awe with their dazzling skills. Although most of them have retired, their memories are still etched on the minds and hearts of many.

15. Guo Yue

Best ping pong player of all time?
Gold medalist Yue Guo of China celebrates on the podium during the Women's Team Table Tennis medal ceremony in the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on 7 August. Photo: Feng Li
Source: Getty Images

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Guo Yue was a top Chinese female ping pong star who became a world champion at 16. She won several world championships and the Asian cup. Yue was ranked the world's no. 1 in 2008. She retired at 26 to concentrate on her studies at Tsinghua University.

14. Ichiro Ogimura

Ogimura won 12 world championships and three English open titles. He was also ranked number one in 1954. After retirement, the Japanese legend coached in Sweden, China, and the USA. He also served as the president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITFF). Ichiro passed away in 1994 due to lung cancer.

13. Ma Lin

The Chinese legend is the only male player to win Olympic Gold in men's singles, doubles, and with his team. He also holds the record for winning the most world cup (4) in the men's category. Ma Lin retired in 2013 to focus on his coaching career.

12. Timo Boll

Timo Boll is among the few legendary non-Asian ping pong stars. He won several major competitions, including the world cup, the European championship, and the world championship singles. Besides, the German also ranked as the world's no one thrice (2003, 2011, 2018).

11. Zhang Yining

Best ping pong players right now
Zhang Yining of China waves to spectators as she celebrates her victory during the World Table Tennis Championships 2009 at Yokohama Arena on 5 May 2009 in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota
Source: Getty Images

Zhang Yining dominated women's table tennis during the early 21st century. She is a four times world cup winner and won 10 major world titles. Yining also bagged gold medals in the 2004 Olympics. She was ranked the world's no. 1 by the ITTF from 2003 and 2009.

10. Xu Xing

Who is the ping pong goat?
Chinese table tennis player Xu Xing in action against Ma Long at the Table Tennis World Championships in the exposition halls in Duesseldorf, Germany, 5 May 2017. Photo: Jonas Güttler
Source: Getty Images

The Chinese star won the world tour ten times, the world tour grand finales twice and the Asian cup (2013, 2016). She is often considered among the best ping pong players of the past decade. Xing was ranked no. 1 by the ITTF in December 2012.

9. W. Nan

Nan dominated the game between 1999 and 2002 as the world's no. 1 and won all the major titles. She is also a multiple gold medalist winner. Her remarkable career achievements make her one of the most notable women in table tennis.

8. W. Hao

Best ping pong players in the world
W. Hao of China plays a shot during the Men's Singles Table Tennis Gold medal match against Zhang Jike of China in the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on 2 August 2012. Photo: Feng Li
Source: Getty Images

Hao bagged three world cup championships and three Olympic silver medals. He was ranked the world no. 1 between 2007 and 2009. Hao also has a record appearance (12) in the finals of major world competitions. He won Chinese national games, Asian championships, Asian cup, and Asian games before retiring in 2014.

7. Zhang Jike

Zhang is considered the fastest player to complete the table tennis grand slam by winning all three major titles within 445 days. He was ranked the world no. 1 by ITTF from June to December 2012.

6. Kong Linghui

Table tennis world ranking
China's Linghui Kong kisses his gold medal after beating Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner to win the men's singles table tennis finals on 25 September 2000 at the Sydney Olympics. Photo: Franck Fife
Source: Getty Images

Linghui is the third-ever person to achieve a career grand slam in table tennis. He is also a former world no. 1 and Olympic gold medalist who dominated the game in the 80s and 90s. Kong Linghui also served as the head coach of the Chinese national women's team.

5. W. Liqin

The three-time world champion and Olympics gold medalist is among the top-rated ping pong players ever. Liqin retired from professional table tennis in 2013 and served as a coach in the Chinese super league. He was also inducted into the IITF hall of fame.

4. Deng Yaping

Who is the best ping pong player?
Chinese table tennis player Deng Yaping celebrates winning the women's singles table tennis medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, on 5 August 1992. Photo: Professional Sport
Source: Getty Images

Deng Yaping was called to the Chinese national team in 1998 after several rejections and won her first world title in the women's double. Her other victories include the world championship (1991) and Olympics singles and doubles (1992, 1996). Yaping ranked world no. 1 from 1990 to 1997. She was voted the Chinese athlete of the century and was inducted into the ITFF hall of fame.

3. Liu Guoliang

Liu Guoliang is the second player in the history of table tennis to achieve a career grand slam. He won titles at various tournaments and retired after the 2001 season. At 27, he was appointed the Chinese national men's team coach and guided them to winning every men's singles team's championships. Guoliang coached many great players like Ma Lin, W. Hao, and W. Liqin.

2. Jan-Ove Waldner

Who is the ping pong GOAT?
Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner hits a return during the men's singles semifinal against Ryu Seung-Min of South Korea at the Olympic Games in Athens on 22 August 2004. Photo: Ramzi Haidar
Source: Getty Images

The Swedish star is the first person ever to complete a TT grand slam. He is known for his unmatched serving ability. Waldner won 6 world championship singles medals during his long career from the 1990s to 2016. He was nicknamed 'The Mozart of table tennis,' because of his great connection with his bat and ball. So, who is the best ping pong player?

1. Ma Long

Ma Long is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2016, 2020) and three times world champions in singles ((2015, 2017, 2019). He has also bagged two world championships in doubles (2011, 2019). Ma Long is among the best ping pong players right now.

The Chinese star has an astounding 24 titles in the ITTF pro tour. He is a three times Asian champion and two times china national champion.

Who is the best ping pong player in the world in 2022?

According to the latest table tennis world ranking, Fan Zhendong tops the list in the men's ranking with 6900 points. In the women's category, Sun Yingsha is the top-ranked with 5770 points as of August 2022.




Men's ranking

Fan Zhendong



Ma Long



Liang Jingkun



Tomokazu Harimoto



Hugo Calderano



Women's ranking

Sun Yingsha



Chen Meng



W. Manyu



W. Yidi



Mima Ito



Who are the best Russian ping pong players?

Kirill Skachkov is currently the top-ranked Russian tennis star with 3043 points, ranked 53 globally. Alexander Shibaev (87) comes second with 2471 points, and Sadi Ismailov (168) is third with 1509 points.

Best Finnish ping pong players

The best-ranked Finnish table tennis player is Benedek Olah, ranked 78 with 2597 points. Alex Naumi (266) is second with 846 points, and Otto Tennille (513) with 311 points.

Best American ping pong players

Kanak Jha is America's top-rated table tennis star with 4177 points, ranking him 30 globally. Nikhil Kumar (172) comes second with 1497 points, followed by Kai Zhang (175) with 1488 points.

As observed, most of the best ping pong players are Chinese. The country has embraced the sport since the 1950s, and played in almost every street and school. Perhaps you would fancy moving to China if you want to play the sport.

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According to research, over 20 basketball players have scored 60 points and above, but now one has managed over 100 points. Follow the above link to learn more.

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Sports Facts Writer
Ping pong