Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Sorin Petroj
Here is a list of the top 10 best female table tennis players ever in history that you need to know about.
There are many exceptional female table tennis players all over the world. China and Japan are well-known for producing great professional players in table tennis sport. This article will show some of these female players and their achievements over the years.
The below list is based on their achievements, performance, and rankings:
- Ding Ning (China)
- Liu Shiwen (China)
- Wang Nan (China)
- Li Xiaoxia (China)
- Ai Fukuhara (Japan)
- Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan)
- Cheng Meng (China)
- Ito Mima (Japan)
- Zhu Yuling (China)
- Sun Yingsha (China)
1. Ding Ning (Best Female Table Tennis Player Ever)
Ding Ning was born on June 20, 1990, in Daqing, Heilongjiang, China. She is a left-handed table tennis player, and her shakehand grip and skills are excellent. You can’t even imagine.
Some of her greatest achievements are winning the 2011 World Table Tennis Championship in the women’s singles.
The second title came in the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, and the third at the 2017 WTTC in Dusseldorf. She has also won several single titles in the Summer Olympics.
Ding Ning is a Chinese table tennis player seen as one of the most successful and influential female table tennis players in the history of China. She is currently retired(she retired in September 2021) and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Physical Education at Peking University, Beijing, China.
Ding Ning Achievements
- Gold Medal (21), Silver(6), Bronze(3)
- Olympic Games: singles; 1. place; 2016 Rio, 2. place; 2012 London
Teams: 1. place; 2016 Rio; 2012 London
- World championships: singles; 1. place; 2011 Rotterdam; 2015 Suzhou; 2017 Dusseldorf, 3. place; 2013 Paris; 2019 Budapest
Doubles: 1. place; 2017 Dusseldorf, 2. place; 2009 Yokohama; 2011 Rotterdam; 2013 Paris; 2015 Suzhou
Teams: 1. place; 2012 Dortmund, 2014 Tokyo; 2018 Halmstad, 2. place; 2010 Moscow
- World Cup: teams; 1. place; 2009 Linz; 2010 Dubal; 2011 Magdeburg; 2015 Dubai
Singles: 1. place; 2011 Singapore; 2014 Linz; 2018 Chengdu
2. Liu Shiwen
Liu Shiwen was born on April 12, 1991. She is the greatest female table tennis and a legendary player because she has won the World Cup 5 times, the World Championships once, and the ITTF World Tour grand finals 3 times. She is one of the world’s quickest table tennis players because she is very swift while playing.
Liu Shiwen was ranked 1st by the International Table Tennis Federation Rankings (ITTF) for nine consecutive months (January to September) in 2010 and 11 months consecutively from 2015 to 2016. She has won the World Cup title 3 times (in 2009, 2012, and 2013). Liu Shiwen also won the World Championships in 2019.
One of the best female table tennis players ever won the Pro Tour eight times and the Pro Tour grand final three times. She also won the Asian Cup in 2010, 2012, and 2013.
Liu Shiwen, however, was not active in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected many people in one way or another. She was also suffering from a serious elbow injury that year that made her undergo surgery.
Liu Shiwen Achievements
- Gold Medal (20), Silver(6), Bronze(3)
- Olympic Games: teams; 1. place; 2016 Rio
Mixed doubles; 2. place; 2020 Tokyo
- World Championships: singles; 2. place; 2013 Paris; 2015 Suzhou; 2017 Dusseldorf, 3. place; 2009 Yokohama; 2011 Rotterdam
Teams; 1.place; 2012 Dortmund; 2014 Tokyo; 2018 Halmstad
- World Cup: singles; 1. place; 2009 Guangzhou; 2012 Huangshi, 2013 Kobe; 2015 Sendai; 2019 Chengdu
Teams; 1. place; 2009 Linz; 2010 Dubai; 2013 Guangzhou; 2018 London; 2018 Dubai; 2019 Tokyo
3. Wang Nan
Wang Nan is left-handed and is known for her swift change regarding ball placement during rallies, loops, drives, and great speed. Her playing style is the shakehand grip. Wang Nan was the leader of the ladies’ Chinese table tennis team after the retirement of Deng Yaping.
Her notable achievements include winning at least one gold medal in each table tennis World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic Games. She won the Women’s World Table Tennis Cup twice, in 1997 and 1998, and the American Opens and China Opens.
Wang Nan represented China for the 4th time at the 2003 World Table Tennis Championships in Paris, where she won 3 gold medals in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
This was the third consecutive time she won both singles and doubles, setting a high record and proving that she is still one of the world’s greatest female table tennis and top players.
In the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, she won 4 gold medals in the singles, doubles, mixed doubles, and women’s teams.
Wang Nan Achievements
- Gold Medal (24), Silver(6), Bronze(2)
- Olympic Games: singles; 1. place; 2000 Sydney, 2. place; 2008 Beijing
Teams; 1. place; 2008 Beijing
Doubles: 1. place; 2000 Sydney; 2004 Athens
- World Championships: singles; 1. place; 1999 Eindhoven; 2001 Osaka; 2003 Paris, 2. place; 1997 Manchester
Teams; 1. place; 1997 Manchester; 2000 Kuala Lumpur; 2001 Osaka; 2004 Doha; 2006 Bremen
- World cup: singles; 1. place; 1997 Shanghai; 1998 Taipei; 2003 Hong Kong; 2007 Chengdu
Teams; 1. place; 2007 Magdeburg
4. Li Xiaoxia
Like many other greatest female table tennis players, she uses a shakehand grip on her right hand. She is also one of the greatest table tennis players of all time because she has won several World Championships, Olympic Games, and World Cups.
Li Xiaoxia became the world champion in team events twice, in 2006 and 2008. She also became the Asian Champion in the mixed doubles event in 2009.
Li Xiaoxia Achievements
- Gold Medal (19), Silver(8), Bronze(2)
- Olympic Games: singles; 1. place; 2012 London, 2. place; 2016 Rio
Teams; 1. place; 2012 London; 2016 Rio
- World championships: singles; 1. place; 2013 Paris, 2. place; 2011 Rotterdam, 3. place; 2009 Yokohama; 2015 Suzhou
Doubles; 1. place; 2009 Yokohama; 2011 Rotterdam; 2013 Paris, 2. place; 2007 Zagreb, 2015 Suzhou
Teams; 1. place; 2006 Bremen; 2008 Guangzhou; 2012 Dortmund
- World cup: singles; 1. place; 2008 Kuala Lumpur, 2. place; 2011 Singapore
Teams; 1. place; 2007 Magdeburg; 2009 Linz; 2013 Guangzhou; 2015 Dubai
5. Ai Fukuhara
Ai Fukuhara – November 1, 1988, was born in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. She is a right-handed player who uses a shakehand playing style.
She became the youngest player to be part of the Japanese National Team at 11. Ai was also the youngest Japanese representative ever for the Asian Games in 2002 at the age of 13.
Ai Fukuhara is sponsored by All Nippon Airways. She won her first-ever medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she emerged as the second best. She also won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics with the Japanese women’s national team.
Ai is one of the greatest female table tennis players and began her world championship journey in Paris in 2004, where she helped the country win bronze.
She then qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics in the Asian Zone qualifying tournament. This title enabled her to compete in Athens at the age of 15, where she was termed the youngest-ever female table tennis player to debut in the Olympic Games.
Ai Fukuhara is now a retired table tennis player.
Ai Fukuhara Achievements
- Silver (4), Bronze (15)
- Olympic Games: teams; 2. place; 2012 London; 2016 Rio
- World Championships: teams; 2. place; 2016 Kuala Lumpur, 3. place; 2004 Doha; 2006 Bremen; 2008 Guangzhou; 2010 Moscow
Mixed doubles; 3. place; 2011 Rotterdam
6. Kasumi Ishikawa
Kasumi Ishikawa is one of the most renowned Japanese Table Tennis players of all time. She was born on February 23, 1993.
Born in a family of professional table tennis players, she first came into the limelight when she won her first-ever All-Japan Table Tennis Championships. She defeated many high school and campus students at a very young age.
She upheld the winning spirit and won four consecutive years in the same championship, which set her at the top bar.
Kasumi Ishikawa currently ranks 9th position according to International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings as of 2022. Some of her nicknames include Ai-Chan, resulting from people thinking that she resembles Ai Fukuhara’s personality and character traits regarding table tennis.
She is known for her fast top spins and continuous loops in her offensive play. Her favorite blade is Clipper CR WRB, and her rubbers are Nittaku FastArc G-1 for the forehand and Butterfly Tenergy 64 for the backhand.
Kasumi Ishikawa Achievements
- Gold Medal (1), Silver (8), Bronze (5)
- World cup: singles; 2.place; 2015, 3. place;2014
Team; 2. place; 2011, 2013, 2018, 2019, 3. place; 2009, 2010, 2015
- World Championship: mixed doubles; 1. place; 2017 Dusseldorf, 2. place; 2015 Suzhou
Teams; 2. place; 2014 Tokyo, 2016 Kuala Lumpur, 2018 Halmstad, 3. place; 2008 Guangzhou, 2010 Moscow
- Summer Olympics: Team; 2. place; 2012 London; 2020 Tokyo, 3. place; 2016 Rio
7. Chen Meng
Chen Meng is a Chinese table tennis player. She is famous for her mastery when it comes to the shakehand grip. She is good at it, and many people look up to her when it comes to skills in shakehand.
Chen Meng was born on January 15, 1994. She is currently ranked 2nd according to the ITTF ranking list. She achieved her career-high ranking of world number one in January 2018.
Chen plays for a Chinese club called Shandong Luneng, and some of her remarkable achievements include winning the ITTF World Tour twice until present in the Swedish Opens and China Opens in 2013.
Chen Meng Achievements
- Gold (7), Silver (2), Bronze (4)
- World Cup: singles; 1. place; 2020 Weihai
World Championships; singles; 2. place; 2019 Budapest, 3. place; 2021 Houston
Doubles; 2. place; 2017 Dusseldorf; 2021 Houston, 3. place; 2013 Paris; 2019 Budapest; 2021 Houston
Teams; 1. place; 2014 Tokyo; 2016 Kuala Lumpur; 2018 Halmstad
- Olympics games: singles; 1. place; 2020 Tokyo
Teams; 1. place; 2020 Tokyo
8. Ito Mima
Ito Mima is one of the youngest and strongest Japanese table tennis players. Mima was born on October 21, 2000. Her career journey began when she was 15 and won a bronze medal in the women’s team event at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
She also gained popularity at age ten when she was the youngest to win a match at the Japanese Senior Table Tennis Championships and the youngest to win an ITTF Junior Circuit.
Mima Ito has the highest winning rate against Chinese Table Tennis Players in the History of women’s table tennis. Thus, many Chinese players consider her the ‘greatest threat.’ She has defeated prominent players like Liu Shiwen, Zhu Yuling (Former world number one champion), and Qian Tianyi (World junior champion).
In March 2020, at the Qatar Opens, she won against Olympic Champion Ding Ning in the semi-finals. She attained an 11-0 score in the third set, making it the first time a non-Chinese player won against a Chinese player.
One of the greatest female table tennis players is known for her unique playing style, including short pips on the backhand, great serves, and fast flat smashes of the forehand.
Ito Mima Achievements
- Gold Medal (1), Silver(8), Bronze(4)
- Olympics: singles; 3. place; 2020 Tokyo
Mixed doubles; 1. place 2020 Tokyo
Teams; 2. place; 2020 Tokyo, 3. place; 2016 Rio
- World Championship: doubles; 2. place; 2019 Budapest; 2021 Houston, 3. place; 2017 Dusseldorf
Teams; 2. place; 2016 Kuala Lumpur; 2018 Halmstad
- World cup: singles; 3. place; 2020 Weihai
Teams; 2. place; 2018 London; 2019 Tokyo
9. Zhu Yuling
Zhu Yuling was born on January 10, 1995. She proficiently uses a shakehand on her right hand. She won the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in the girl’s singles twice and became the semi-finalist at the 2013 WTTC.
Zhu Yuling also emerged at the highest rank in 2017 after winning against Liu Shiwen at the ITTF Women’s World Cup in Markham, Ontario.
She was a reserve player at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Yuling was also selected for the Chinese national team at the age of only 15 years.
When growing up, she dedicated a lot of her time practicing (approximately 9 hours a day) alongside her studies. This is a result of her overall good performance in the game.
Zhu Yuling Achievements
- Gold Medal (7), Silver (4), Bronze (3)
- World Championships: singles; 2. place; 2017 Dusseldorf, 3. place; 2013 Paris
Doubles; 1. place; 2015 Suzhou, 2. place; 2017 Dusseldorf, 3. place; 2019 Budapest
Teams; 1.place; 2014 Tokyo; 2018 Halmstad; 2016 Kuala Lumpur
- World cup: singles; 1. place; 2017 Markham, 2. place; 2018, 2019 Chengdu
Teams; 1. place; 2015 Dubai; 2018 London
10. Sun Yingsha (World Number 1 in Table Tennis 2022)
Sun Yingsha is a rising star in the table tennis industry. At 22 years old, this professional Chinese table tennis player has numerous achievements. She was born on November 4, 2000. She is currently the world’s number one in women’s singles.
Sun Yingsha has defeated legendary table tennis players like Mima Ito, Ding Ning, Chen Meng, and Liu Shiwen. When she defeated Mima Ito in the 2019 World Team Cup finals, she was ranked the second-best in the globe in 2020.
One of the best female table tennis players ever collaborated with Cheng Meng and Wang Manyu in the women’s team event finals in 2021, which made China win 3-0 against Japan, taking home Gold and setting the perfect record in the event. This also helped her attain her current title.
If she continues this trend, she will be the leader of the best female table tennis players in the future.
Sun Yingsha Achievements
- Gold Medal (6), Silver (3)
- World Cup: singles; 2. place; 2020 Weihai
Teams; 2. place; 2019 Tokyo
- World Championships: doubles; 1. place; 2019 Budapest; 2021
Mixed doubles; 1. place; 2021 Houston
Singles; 2. place; 2021 Houston
- Olympic Games: singles; 2. place; 2020 Tokyo
Team; 1. place; 2020 Tokyo
Best Female Table Tennis Players – Conclusion
From all the achievements highlighted, we can agree that these female table tennis players are among the best and the greatest ever!
Ding Ning is currently the best female table tennis player in the world, according to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). She has won a gold medal at the World Championship and numerous other titles.
If you want to learn more about her or watch some of her amazing plays, be sure to check out her website or YouTube channel.
Who knows? You may have become so motivated by reading this article that you will be the next champion. Let us know how it goes!
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