If Ma Long wins the 2016 Rio Olympics...

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Ma Long has had a great year winning all 3 major events, the World Champs, World Cup and the World Tour Grand Finals. We are all aware if Ma Long wins the Rio Olympics he will become a grand slam champion matching Zhang Jike's achievements.

My question is, if Ma Long wins Rio will he go down as the greatest player of all time?

I want to add a poll but I can't find the option.
 
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Ma Long is a great player, but we will see for how many years he can be on top. IMHO Waldner is the best player of all time, he was on top for about 20 years. Still few years ago while he was not active like pros he did some problems to Ma Long. So we can say ma long is on top for about 10 years, let's see if another 10 years he can be in top 10 - I really doubt it.
 
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Ma Long still needs another World Championships to match Waldner and Zhang Jike. Waldner had a really long and successful career (also an Olympic silver and a World's silver) We must not forget that Waldner achieved so much without the resources and the training of the Chinese National Team. The other Swedes were also very strong but they didn't match Waldner in terms of achievements or longevity.

However, it probably can be argued that Ma Long has been consistently at the top, probably more so than Waldner but Waldner's style was so unique and eye-catching that I always tip in Waldner's favour.
 
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To me this sounds like all the people who were asking if Zhang Jike was the best ever after his 2013 win in the WTTC singles event.

Ma Long is a darn good player. Let's let history unfold.

Before Mike Tyson lost his first fight, when he still had that air of invincibility so many people were predicting he would be the best boxer ever. But when he hit a few speed bumps in his career he sort of plummeted. He was a champion. But also a circus act and I doubt anyone would call him the best ever these days.


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Well the greatest of all time is just a big word thrown away by journalists. In terms of total titles no one can surpass waldner. But in waldner's era the game was much less physical so we cant compare really.

If wang hao had better mentality he could be compared to waldner no matter how weird this statement sounds.

3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.

Judging by the whole package and excluding waldner out of the equation cause his era was very different I would say

1. zhang jike 2. wang hao 3 ma long 4.wang liqin 5. ma lin . If ma long clinches the next olympic games and one world champ final more then definitely he is on par with zhang jike and better than wang hao.

Its pointless to compare but judging by overall results waldner is for sure still the best and his records cannot be broken

2 gold in wttc 2 silver and 2 bronze . In 1997 gold he didnt lose a single set, with the 11 point system its almost impossible to break that record by any chinese top player when their level is so damn close

1 gold in olympics 1 silver 1 4th place. Tons of europe top 12 golds when europe was dominating TT. 1 gold 1 silver in european single championships. 1 gold 1 silver 1 bronze in world cups.

For me TT is divided in two eras, before and after 2002, so in the end you cannot really compare. There are only if's and would's. Imagine if ma long had won 2011 wttc, he would probably clincth all the titles after, same thing goes for wang hao
 
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Well the greatest of all time is just a big word thrown away by journalists. In terms of total titles no one can surpass waldner. But in waldner's era the game was much less physical so we cant compare really.

If wang hao had better mentality he could be compared to waldner no matter how weird this statement sounds.

3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.
/QUOTE]

Ma Long lost against Timo Boll in the WTTTC in 2010.
 
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3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.

Love your post. But didn't Ma Long get beaten by Timo Boll in WTTC teams? I think it may have been 2012 or 2010. Can't remember which.

[Edit: well, I just saw anchorschmidt beat me to that piece of info.]



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Sorry for my ridiculous opinion. But for me the best player is the one that is most enjoyable to watch and with the most refine technique. And in that department, in my opinion no one beats Zhang Jike.

Yeap zhang has the most effective technique close to the table. No weaknesses whatsoever, the rallies he has played close to the table are phenomenal and only him and fan zhendong can display such a perfect technique and explosiveness without getting off balance.

One could say that zhang is the evolution of kong linghui which was the modern all round chinese player with exceptional rallying ablities. Fan zhendong and zhang are the only players so far in history that countertopspin so fast close to the table. WAng hao was also very good, but a notch slower
 
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Well the greatest of all time is just a big word thrown away by journalists. In terms of total titles no one can surpass waldner. But in waldner's era the game was much less physical so we cant compare really.

If wang hao had better mentality he could be compared to waldner no matter how weird this statement sounds.

3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.
/QUOTE]

Ma Long lost against Timo Boll in the WTTTC in 2010.

Yeap my bad, he was actually winning 2-0 but Timo fought back hard and of course ML choked a bit at the end. It was a great game
 
No player can ever match the achievements of Barna.

Ma Long has had a great year winning all 3 major events, the World Champs, World Cup and the World Tour Grand Finals. We are all aware if Ma Long wins the Rio Olympics he will become a grand slam champion matching Zhang Jike's achievements.

My question is, if Ma Long wins Rio will he go down as the greatest player of all time?

No No No No never!

There's no TT player that can ever match the achievements of one Victor Barna. There's a very strong argument that he's the one person why we are all playing TT today. He popularised the sport way beyond its roots. He's the only TT player that was on the back and front pages of newspapers all over the world. Think Tiger Woods and golf. Think Ali and boxing. That's how important he was.
 
To me this sounds like all the people who were asking if Zhang Jike was the best ever after his 2013 win in the WTTC singles event.

Ma Long is a darn good player. Let's let history unfold.

Before Mike Tyson lost his first fight, when he still had that air of invincibility so many people were predicting he would be the best boxer ever. But when he hit a few speed bumps in his career he sort of plummeted. He was a champion. But also a circus act and I doubt anyone would call him the best ever these days.


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Agreed. Same for Jiang Jialing, Yue(?) Zhang Zedong, Kong, Guoling etc
Wang Liqin for a long time was invincible. Plus his game like Waldner was so uniquely entrancing. I never quite took to the others before his era.
MaLong is child of the internet/YouTube/TT-forum age. We have watched and dissected his every match since he was about 17yo.
 
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Yeap zhang has the most effective technique close to the table. No weaknesses whatsoever, the rallies he has played close to the table are phenomenal and only him and fan zhendong can display such a perfect technique and explosiveness without getting off balance.

One could say that zhang is the evolution of kong linghui which was the modern all round chinese player with exceptional rallying ablities. Fan zhendong and zhang are the only players so far in history that countertopspin so fast close to the table. Wang hao was also very good, but a notch slower

I assume that you never saw Gatien or even Kreanga at their best. They played in the 38mm ball era when speed glue was at its nastiest and fastest.
 
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I assume that you never saw Gatien or even Kreanga at their best. They played in the 38mm ball era when speed glue was at its nastiest and fastest.

I saw all of them, actually was a great fan of gatien! the smaller ball had big differences, there is no comparison, still zhang and fan have better rallying abilities CLOSE to the table. Kreanga is a mid distance looper and gatien a one shot killer. Gatien's footwork though was ahead from his era

p.s. by close to the table I dont necessarily mean just staying close and taking the ball at different times. close to the table means striking the ball as early as possible. The modern BH of zhang wang hao was not even existent in the speed glue era.
 
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The clue is in your statement "the smaller ball had big differences"
TT goes through all styles at different times. Yes the BH emphasis is the big thing at the moment. But many players had BH like that but with the greater speed and spin of the 38mm ball there was no time to play the BH/FH game as it is today.
Eg. I am a craaap level player, but even me can be Flipping most serves (at my level) with my BH. This tactic would have been match suicide in the nineties.
But in the fifties/sixties it was well used tactic.
 
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When you take a snails eye view of history, it is easy to make naive assumptions. I mean, heck, Ma Long fans were clamoring for him to be given the title of Best Player Ever before he ever won a WTTC. He is a great player in spite of how often he has choked on the larger stages. I mean, 3 WTTCs in a row (2009, 2011 and 2013) he lost in the semi-finals to Wang Hao, and all three of them looked more than a little like big time choking. Wang Hao pulled the short game and the jedi mind-tricks out of his sleeve, and Ma Long fell apart.

If Ma Long fans wanted to crown him with the title of Best Ever when he was falling apart in the big tournaments, then, of course they would want to crown him Best of All Times now that he finally won something substantial. The guy is great. He is fun to watch too. But come on, nobody can be called the best ever until you can look at their entire career from start to finish and measure ALL OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

So lets not get too carried away. And just wait till the Ma Long fans start being Fan Zhendong fans, when FZD passes ML and is beating everyone. We will see if they start asking if FZD is the best ever after he wins his first Olympic Gold or WTTC title. Or, will they start clamoring for that title before he wins anything like they did for Ma Long!
 
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When you take a snails eye view of history, it is easy to make naive assumptions. I mean, heck, Ma Long fans were clamoring for him to be given the title of Best Player Ever before he ever won a WTTC. He is a great player in spite of how often he has choked on the larger stages. I mean, 3 WTTCs in a row (2009, 2011 and 2013) he lost in the semi-finals to Wang Hao, and all three of them looked more than a little like big time choking. Wang Hao pulled the short game and the jedi mind-tricks out of his sleeve, and Ma Long fell apart.

If Ma Long fans wanted to crown him with the title of Best Ever when he was falling apart in the big tournaments, then, of course they would want to crown him Best of All Times now that he finally won something substantial. The guy is great. He is fun to watch too. But come on, nobody can be called the best ever until you can look at their entire career from start to finish and measure ALL OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

So lets not get too carried away. And just wait till the Ma Long fans start being Fan Zhendong fans, when FZD passes ML and is beating everyone. We will see if they start asking if FZD is the best ever after he wins his first Olympic Gold or WTTC title. Or, will they start clamoring for that title before he wins anything like they did for Ma Long!

Yeap, I think his flashy forehand has made many fans enthusiastic about him and too much hype than he actually deserved, which Im sure it created some pressure on him. Good aesthetics does not necessarily mean that you are the greatest or deserve to be world champion. Wang hao's short game is maybe the best along with ma lin's, only zhang could counter it with the BH flick which ma long never really developed .
 
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