Who is the best Table Tennis players?
I have been playing and following Ping Pong for many years now. I will nominate 3 players for the greatest title :
1. : He is to table tennis what Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket, or what Roger Federer is to Tennis. He was the first player to complete the grand slam. Sometimes referred to as 'The Mozart of Table Tennis', he was known as 'Evergreen' by his legions of Chinese fans. The name 'Evergreen' is appropriate too, as he is still playing at a high level at the age of 50. He is now playing against players who were coached by stars he played against in the earlier decades of his career. More than his game, it's his longevity that makes him the greatest.
2. : Undoubtedly, the most talented player to ever play the game. He has absolutely zero weakness. His backhand is best ever, his footwork is superb and his speed is electric. He probably has the most beautiful game. What is really amazing about him though is his ability to fight back. On numerous occasions he has come back from far behind and win. He thrives under pressure. His concentration only gets better as the situation gets worse and that's the reason he has amassed so may titles. He is one of the 4 players to complete a grand slam. He won the grand slam in only 445 days after his first major title, being the fastest and the youngest player ever to do so. He has won the world championship twice and is now targeting a second grand slam. In term of game play, he is definitely better than Waldner, but why he is still doesn't qualify to be the sole greatest is because of his inability to overcome Ma Long (next on the list) and his arrogant attitude.
3. : If Zhang Jike is the most talented player, Ma long is the most hard working player. Just like Zhang Jike, he has zero weakness in his game. He has the best forehand in the game, amazing footwork and super speed. His attacking instincts are above everyone due to which his game is so powerful and offensive that most opponent fear him. Today, there is no player who can overcome his game. He has the strongest game ever. He has the highest winning percentage of all time and has won the most no of ITTF world tour titles. Defeating him is almost impossible for anyone, even for Zhang Jike. Despite of all the talent and the super strong game, he still has not been able to win a single world championship. The reason for that is he unlike zhang jike, melts down under pressure. This happens mostly against Wang Hao. He has lost 3 consecutive World Championship Semi finals against Wang Hao. He usually wins his matches without losing a set, but against Wang Hao both him and zhang usually lose the first two sets. When this happens, zhang jike thrives and win; and Ma long melts down and lose.
If I have to pick one, I would say Zhang Jike is the greatest, but if Ma long can overcome his mental weakness, he will leave everyone behind.