Last weekend saw Ma Long claim gold at the 2019 World Championships. This is the third World Championship title Ma Long has secured in his career, bringing up the question among many fans, does this make Ma Long the greatest table tennis player of all time? Well one person had their say, Liu Guoliang!

ittfmalongliu.jpg

Liu Guoliang and Ma Long (Photo by ITTF Flickr)

USA's Kanak Jha just finished a practice session with Ma Long on the 19th April and asked the question to Liu Guoliang, "who would win between Jan Ove Waldner and Ma Long when both players are at their peak with the celluloid ball?" Liu responded, I think Jan Ove Waldner would have won. However with the plastic ball Ma Long would win".

There we have it guys, does this settle the dust? Both Ma Long and Jan Ove Waldner were absolute monsters in their generation. One has to argue, if Ma Long wins the Tokyo Olympics next year will this make him the ultimate greatest table tennis player of all time?

Watch Ma Long vs Mattias Falck in the final of the 2019 World Championships:


Let us know in the comments who's the greatest table tennis player of all time.

TableTennisDaily
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Aug 2016
871
1,204
2,907
Seems to make sense. The other day I was caught up in the moment thinking "Ma Long is the GOAT." And he very well could be. But there have been too many changes in the game with ball to call one person a winner.

38mm era? Hard to say. JOW would be a good choice. So would Liu Guoliang. Could Ma Long have played in this era and been great? Sure. But really no idea if he'd be the best.
40mm era? I guess you could say Ma Long. But really ZJK was clearly the best during this span in his prime pre injuries topping Ma Long in the biggest moments.
40mm+ ? Sure lets go Ma Long.
 
says The sticky bit is stuck.
says The sticky bit is stuck.
Well-Known Member
Jan 2017
2,772
2,620
8,161
Read 8 reviews
Let us be honest , Ma Long is the GOAT.

Yes, and 5 Seconds of Summer is the GOAT of popular music.

Unless you’re willing to really let that “of all time” sink in. How can you even make such a claim, disregarding not only Barna, Bergman, Cai, Guo etc. but also dismissing all future players offhand?

The GOAT game is a semantically unsound game played within the memory confines of a goldfish, so it seems to me.

(And yes, I’m a big big Ma Long fan. Still!)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sticky
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Sep 2013
7,778
6,986
17,057
Read 3 reviews
Yes, and 5 Seconds of Summer is the GOAT of popular music.

Unless you’re willing to really let that “of all time” sink in. How can you even make such a claim, disregarding not only Barna, Bergman, Cai, Guo etc. but also dismissing all future players offhand?

The GOAT game is a semantically unsound game played within the memory confines of a goldfish, so it seems to me.

(And yes, I’m a big big Ma Long fan. Still!)

with normal logic, I suggest one should just call - greatest of current generation

because you can't compare generations equally and fairly

Zeio might just come here and quote that Walder was just a protype for shake hand players
 
says Spin and more spin.
says Spin and more spin.
Well-Known Member
Super Moderator
Dec 2010
16,205
17,785
55,038
Read 11 reviews
Yes, and 5 Seconds of Summer is the GOAT of popular music.

Unless you’re willing to really let that “of all time” sink in. How can you even make such a claim, disregarding not only Barna, Bergman, Cai, Guo etc. but also dismissing all future players offhand?

The GOAT game is a semantically unsound game played within the memory confines of a goldfish, so it seems to me.

(And yes, I’m a big big Ma Long fan. Still!)

I must memorise this quote

That is a great post by yoass. :)
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Aug 2017
1,069
506
2,458
When you play the game of thrones, you win or die! Was that your point? :) He does seem to look like Bran the Broken. :)

by risking being banned from this forum :D I must confess I didn't see games of throne. (watched a couple of series some long long time ago, but wasn't "pulled in" into their universe, so started watching Breaking bad or smth... But it's in my bucket list anyway). I assume the picture means that finally he is the one who gets to sit in the throne, meaning he is the goat :cool:
 
This user has no status.
Power - Ma Long
Control - Waldner

They played in different era and different circumstances and Ma Long has his advantage as the GOAT considering his achievement. But let us not forget that Waldner reinvented the game, showed us shots that seemed impossible because of his tremendous control of the 38mm ball. Waldner made a lot of influence on how the game is played today.
 
says Spin and more spin.
says Spin and more spin.
Well-Known Member
Super Moderator
Dec 2010
16,205
17,785
55,038
Read 11 reviews

I thought they played 2 times. 2009 and 2011. But I could be wrong. Same kind of results each time. Waldner got a game or 2 early with tactics but could not move well enough because of his back and being out of shape and Ma Long won, in the end, fairly easily.
 
says ok, I will go back and make sure you have access. Be...
says ok, I will go back and make sure you have access. Be...
Well-Known Member
Nov 2010
3,568
5,934
10,356
Read 8 reviews
I know all the issues of comparing across generations, but Ma Long has won more big events and rarely had inexplicable losses. Waldner sometimes lost to weaker players if he wssntvreal motivated.

Both had to play against multiple waves of great competitors.

And Waldner had more panache.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
May 2016
322
223
548
Waldner would not stand a chance against the consistent, heavy power loopers that rule the game now. Waldner does a few blocks and look-aways here and there, gets the old geezers to rally behind him!

But if you want to talk about who would win against more players... c'mon! Very obvious decision. Even based on Waldner's own record.

They'd beat Waldner like a dirty rug out on the back porch.

If you're talking about who was the best in their own era... go ahead!
 
Top