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Poll: Who is Greatest?

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    #141
    Waldner all day long. China keep on producing these amazing players and I am a massive fan of ZJK but none of them will have the longevity of Evergreen Waldner. I think the latest crop of Japanese players may be worthy of comparison with the great man in years to come. They play the game in a similar fashion, great touch, good improvisation and not scared to play the game at less than a million miles an hour. Ma Long relies too much on power and doesn't have the mindset for the big game. Zhang Jike has to be the best Chinese player of the moment by quite a long way. I look forward to he and Koki Niwa locking swords in years to come.

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    #142
    I don't think Ma Long can cut it now, he's won one World Cup and I don't know if his mental game will cut it to help him win a WTTC now.
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    #143
    Really, this should be a comparison between Waldner and Zhang Jike. They're on equal footings in terms of major titles, but Zhang Jike has done it faster.

    I'd throw my ring in with Waldner because he was able to play at such a high level for such a long time.

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    #144
    You cannot compare Waldner to anyone, especially Ma Long who plays mostly with power shots and Waldner was the most inteligent player ever. Not without reason they called him professor. People will remember his as the greatest player ever. After 10 years nobody will remember Ma Long.

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    #145
    between Ma Long and Waldner of course Waldner was very better but between ZJK and Wanlder i think ZJK is better because he won all of the titles that Waldner won in 15-16 years , in just 2 years .

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    #146
    Quote Originally Posted by Alborz
    between Ma Long and Waldner of course Waldner was very better but between ZJK and Wanlder i think ZJK is better because he won all of the titles that Waldner won in 15-16 years , in just 2 years .
    It s hard to compare ZJK to Waldner in terms of how long it took them to win the titles like i said, ZJK's toughest opponents are playing 40% of their game on major events expect of wang hao who is far from beeing the young hao who was winning everything On the other hand 2 of Waldner's opponents are grandslam holders themselves, and there was Gatien, young Samsonov who is still one of the best european players, there was young Person, Rozkopf, Korbel, Liu Nam Kiu, Korea's top guns the competition was just crazy back then ..

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    #147
    Quote Originally Posted by huri
    It s hard to compare ZJK to Waldner in terms of how long it took them to win the titles like i said, ZJK's toughest opponents are playing 40% of their game on major events expect of wang hao who is far from beeing the young hao who was winning everything On the other hand 2 of Waldner's opponents are grandslam holders themselves, and there was Gatien, young Samsonov who is still one of the best european players, there was young Person, Rozkopf, Korbel, Liu Nam Kiu, Korea's top guns the competition was just crazy back then ..
    now ZJK's opponents are Ma Long , Xu Xin , Timo Boll , Wang hao . Wang Hao was three times in final of OG , Timo won nine times european championships . so these are not great players ?
    and of course Ma Long and Xu Xin are not grand slam champions because ZJK don't let them to win any major title.

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    #148
    Quote Originally Posted by Alborz
    now ZJK's opponents are Ma Long , Xu Xin , Timo Boll , Wang hao . Wang Hao was three times in final of OG , Timo won nine times european championships . so these are not great players ?
    and of course Ma Long and Xu Xin are not grand slam champions because ZJK don't let them to win any major title.
    You should probably read what i wrote ... and yes they are great players ...but like i said mentaly very weak on majors. Wang Hao is different category but he is just too old to be able to beat ZJK.

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    #149
    In order to argue who is the best, you have to stablish parameters, as simple as that is. Who is the best at winning tournaments, probably walder that i believe won the most so far...... BUT...

    Like in football, a lot can be said about that. The 1st football world cups had a handfull of teams participating, it wouldnt be the same winning a world cup back then, than in the 80's , or in the 80s as it is now. Sports everywhere have evolved so so so much in every aspect, and there so much competition out there, that the ppl that excels now in any sport, has to be a perfect machine in that sport in wich the variables are now more in number than ever in history

    Bearing all of this in mind. Ma long and the other top 5 chinese players of THIS moment, would kick waldner ass at his peak 6 ways to sunday. I'm not saying waldner wasnt epic, he was for the 80s and part of the 90s, but the sport, the phisicallity, the technique, the extreme training process and quallity of trainers and actual top of the line partners to train with. Its the best now than it has never been, by a loooooooooong shot.

    Waldner wouldn't even know what to do with a fan zhendong flicking every single ball he serves, wouldn't know what do to with a ma long that can attack ANY ball and has such an impressive eye for being able to read their opponents and counter spinning their attacks not only with amazing never before seen power but flawless technique.

    Those who think ma long is pure brute force, have no idea the amount of technique you have to possess in order to be able to attack everything to perfection like he does. I have seen ALL of Waldner matches, he didn't even have a proper backhand topsping attack weapon like zhang jike or fan zhendong have nowadays, he wouldn't be able to stand a rally against a xu xin that can even backhand topspin around the net balls, because he never had people around him that took the sport that far away. He was a total professional with great technique and he had a smart way of approaching the game, he was the best of his era, and this era is way harder, with a lot of more insane skilled people that simple took the game to be the insane show of technique and power that is today.

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    #150
    Ma Long and Waldner played in 2009 and 2011.



    Waldner is kind of fat, out of shape, doesn't move well and is in his mid-40s with a bad back and still gives Ma Long a lot of trouble because of how good his tactics are.

    My memory is the 2011 match may have been tighter than this one. I can't remember but I think it went to 7.

    We can't really say what would have happened with Waldner in his prime but we can say that he did not do badly here especially considering the lack of training which his bad back prevents.

    Waldner's biggest asset was his game intelligence. And it is obvious in this video that, in spite of being way outmatched physically, he still gives Ma Long a lot of trouble because of how good a tactician he is. At the time of the 2011 match I believe Ma Long had the #1 slot in the world rankings.

    So I am not 100% sure about this subject.


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    #151
    Zhang Joke

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    #152
    You could also make a case for WLQ and his 48 months continuously ranked #1 in the world.

    People forget how nearly unbeatable he was in his prime. He overlapped with an amazing number of great players.

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    #153
    Quote Originally Posted by KAB71
    Waldner all day long. China keep on producing these amazing players and I am a massive fan of ZJK but none of them will have the longevity of Evergreen Waldner. I think the latest crop of Japanese players may be worthy of comparison with the great man in years to come. They play the game in a similar fashion, great touch, good improvisation and not scared to play the game at less than a million miles an hour. Ma Long relies too much on power and doesn't have the mindset for the big game. Zhang Jike has to be the best Chinese player of the moment by quite a long way. I look forward to he and Koki Niwa locking swords in years to come.
    Because some guy from the CNT will knock them off the team. Who was going to do that to Waldner? Fabian Akerstrom?

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    #154
    Yep, the CNT players sort of have to stop because after about 30-33 there are too many great up and coming prospects.

    But Waldner was pretty special.


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    #155
    waldner had you could say the advantage that he didn't have to prove all the time who he was.
    he had his spot and could play as many olympic games and world championships as he wanted.
    after all it's just one tournament and you never know what's gonna happen.

    ma long, zhang jike, xu xin, fan zhendong, they all have to be proving themselves all the time, they need to earn their spot in the olympic team, in the world championships team....

    for example, waldner won 1 gold medal in olympics but he played 5 times this tournament.
    zhang jike won 1 gold too but he played only 1 time olympic games.
    ma long also played only 1 time.

    waldner played 15 world championships.
    zhang jike played 7.
    ma long played 9 times world championships.
    Last edited by sebas-aguirre; 09-24-2015 at 06:46 AM.

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    #156
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal
    You could also make a case for WLQ and his 48 months continuously ranked #1 in the world.

    People forget how nearly unbeatable he was in his prime. He overlapped with an amazing number of great players.
    To me, he is the greatest ever for the speed glue era. He should have won wttc 2003 btw
    For the post speed glue ban era, to me it's between Ma Long and ZJK.....both are so great.

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    #157
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Yep, the CNT players sort of have to stop because after about 30-33 there are too many great up and coming prospects.

    But Waldner was pretty special.


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    Playing till 30-33 is fairly recent. They used to stop a bit earlier than that when China was really dominant.

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    #158
    WLQ and Ma Lin were exceptions, to still be in CNT past 30 years.....but it's also because the generation right after Ma Lin-WLQ, China only had Wang Hao as a very top class player........the other players were one level under expectations, I'm speaking about Chen Qi and Hao Shuai.......

    Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang had shorter careers because of Ma Lin and WLQ. WLQ and Ma Lin had longer careers because of Chen Qi and Hao Shuai, to sum up.

    The generation right before Kong and Liu was also quite good, I really loved Ma Wenge, such relaxation when he was playing.

    The 2001 wttc final bewteen Kong Linghui and WLQ stays for me as one of the best match ever : speed glue, 38mm balls, hidden serves...........crazy level and crazy speed and two of the greatest player ever.

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    #159

    Waldner or Ma Long?

    Just to be clear, when this thread was resurrected from the long dead yesterday, my post was in response to a comment that said:

    "Ma long and the other top 5 chinese players of THIS moment, would kick waldner's ass at his peak 6 ways to sunday."

    Now the truth is, I think it is flawed to try and make comparisons like this.

    In a different thread I mentioned how people try to guess who would win if Joe Lewis and Muhammad Ali fought if, somehow they were both magically at their peak.

    Both were the best of their era. It demeans both to try and do this thing that can't be done.

    Would Waldner have been as successful if he was somehow magically transported into this era? We just can't say. But we can say that, old, fat, out of shape, not in training, unable to move well and with a bad back, in 2009 and again in 2011 he lost but did not get his ass kicked 6 ways to Sunday.

    A player that is the best of their era is worth considering in that light.

    If Waldner, Wang Liqin, Kong Linghui and Lui Guoliang were somehow brought into the current era to play, they would have the benefit of newer techniques and the same skill sets they had and we would likely be treated to some epic competitive play. But that stuff just can't happen and all these guys were true greats. And they all had different circumstances and backdrops to their rise as players.

    To add to the Wang Liqin mystique, in the year (between two World Cups) where he went undefeated (I think the number of matches was 55 and that Ma Long tied that undefeated streak and did it in about 6 months [half the time]) Wang Liqin was so dominant he did not lose one game in any of those matches. The level of power and dominance in that period where he had a stranglehold on the top spot was unquestionable and unrivaled.

    But all these players are awesome and it is not worth asking if Babe Ruth would have been able to bat against pitchers from today. Or to get Rod Laver to play Novac Djokavic with his old wooden racket with the small head.

    As one of the greats from an era in sports, all you can do is stand above the current competition and be an innovator who helps the sport move forward.

    Waldner did that with his spin variations, his serves, his allround play his tactics and his creativeness. Wang Liqin did that with a forehand that today may seem commonplace put in his time NO SHAKEHANDER was able to do what he was doing. Combining the versatility and effectiveness of a shakehand BH with the power and dominance of a penhold FH was truly groundbreaking and it took most of a decade for the rest of the TT world to catch up and adjust to that kind of power from both wings.

    Ma Long, Zhang Jike, Fan Zhendong? Well, there are still several unwritten chapters for us to sit back and enjoy as they unfold.


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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 09-25-2015 at 04:32 AM.
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    #160
    I think people really don't watch WLQ enough in his prime and I feel like he is really under-appreciated. There was a lot more to him than just power on one side!

    I need to add that at this point I am not convinced that Ma Long has necessarily accomplished more than Kong Linghui (who was the prototype for ZJK). KLH has a WTTC, an Olympic Gold, a World Cup, and a couple of Asian Championships.

    Watch him here easily defeating Timo Boll in 2001

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