The Top 20 Best Badminton Singles Players of all Time

by | Jul 15, 2020 | General Guides | 0 comments

Over the years badminton has been a popular game. Not only does the fastest racket sport have an interesting history, but it also has an impressive list of great singles players. Lin Dan often is considered to be the greatest male player in the history of badminton, an opinion that has been echoed by his rival, Lee Chong Wei.

Badminton, as we know, is a highly competitive game. Even though it is difficult to identify all the exceptional players, I have compiled a ranking of the best players from 1 to 20 – old and new – in the history of the game:

1. Lin Dan
2. Lee Chong Wei
3. Morten Frost Hansen
4. Susi Susanti
5. Peter Gade
6. Tai Tzu Ying
7. Taufik Hidayat
8. Zhang Ning
9. Li Lingwei
10. Chen Long
11. Wang Yihan
12. Rudy Hartono Kurniawan
13. Saina Nehwal
14. Pullela Gopichand
15. Han Aiping
16. Carolina Marin
17. Prakash Padukone
18. Kento Momota
19. Poul Erik Hoyer Larsen
20. Liem Swie King

If you are wondering why I have not included some current players in that list, it is because I believe a player should only be considered a great player if they have been able to remain at the top of their game until late in their career. This said, I have however included Momota, Marin and Tzu Ying, about whom I will talk about later.

20. Liem Swie King

Bio: At number 20, Liem Swie King was born in Central Java, Indonesia on 28th February 1956. He was at the peak of his career from late-1970s to the mid-1980s. He made his international debut in 1972.

Style of Play: Liem King is popularly known for his iconic jump smash. He played a fast-paced game and absolutely loved to smash just to hit the shuttle quicker. His power-packed, explosive jump smash was given the nickname of the“King Smash”.

Career Highlights: Liem King won one of the most prestigious tournaments of that era, the All England Open three times.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1World Cup1979, 1982
2Asian Games1978
3Swedish Open1977
4All England1981, 1978, 1979
5Denmark Open1978
6English Masters1980
7Indonesia Open1983
8Malaysia Open1983

Liem King retired from badminton in 1988. He now owns a health spa in Jakarta.

19. Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen

Bio: Erik Larsen was born in Helsinge, Denmark on 20th September 1965. He is the current President of the Badminton World Federation.

Style of Play: Erik was known as a brilliant player with deceptive style. He could win points from any part of the court. He had great stamina even though he was not as fast as the other players.

Career Highlights: Larsen  won an Olympic Gold, two golds in the All England Open and three golds in the European Championship.

He was the President of Badminton Europe (2010). In 2013, he was elected as the President of the Badminton World Federation. He was re-elected in 2017, to serve until 2021.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Olympic Games1996
2European Championship1992, 1994, 1996
3Carlton Inter-Sport Cup1986
4Dutch Open1987, 1991, 1993, 1994
5Denmark Open1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999
6Poona Open1989
7German Open1991, 1994
8All England Open1995, 1996
9Swiss Open1996
10Russian Open1997
11U.S. Open1997

18. Kento Momota

Bio: Kento Momota was born in Mino, Japan on 1st September 1994. He started his junior career very successfully.

Style of Play: Momota has a relentless style of play on the court. His fast footwork is his greatest strength. He uses less energy; he stretches instead of jumps which makes his attack penetrating. Momota’s smashes are very powerful, and are followed up by a deceptive net shot, net kill or push to the back.

Career Highlights: Even though Momota is relatively young, I have included him in my top 20 because of his fantastic win to loss record in the past few years. For example, in 2018 he won a staggering 76 out of 85 matches (89%).

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1BWF World Championship2018, 2019
2Asian Championships2018, 2019
3Malaysia Masters2020
4Fuzhou China Open2018, 2019
5Denmark Open2018, 2019
6Korea Open2019
7China Open2019
8Japan Open2018, 2019
9Singapore Open2015, 2019
10All England Open2019
11German Open2019
12Indonesia Open2015, 2018
13India Open2016
14World Superseries Finals2015

Career Singles: Kento Momota has played 413 (as of 2020) Career singles so far and won 335 of them.

In January 2020 Momota was involved in a car accident but was fortunately discharged from hospital after a couple of days.

17. Prakash Padukone

Bio: Prakash Padukone was born in Udupi, Karnataka, India on 10th June 1955. He played in his first official tournament in 1962 and won his first major tournament in 1978.

Style of Play: After his initial losses in 1962, Padukone developed an aggressive style of play in 1971. Frost, after losing to Padukone in 1980 Danish Open, called Padukone the “master of feigned shots”. Padukone developed a wristy, deceptive and counterattacking style, which helped him to overcome the dominance of the Chinese and Indonesian players.

Career Highlights: Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championship in 1980. He was also the National Senior Champion consecutively from 1971 to 1979.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Commonwealth Games1978
2Swedish Open1980
3Danish Open1980
4All England Championship1980
5World Cup1981

Prakash Padukone retired from playing competitively in 1991. He was the chairman of Badminton Association of India for some time. From 1993–1996 he coached the Indian National Badminton Team.

Currently, he runs the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy. He is also one of the co-founders of Olympic Gold Quest which is a foundation for promoting Olympic sports in India.

16. Carolina Marin

Bio: Carolina María Marín was borin in Huvela, Andalusia, Spain on 15th June 1993. She started her career in 2009 and is the reigning Olympic Champion.

Style of Play: Marin has an offensive style of play which has been matched by players such as Okuhara, Tai Tzu, and Yamaguchi who are faster around the court than she is. Being left-handed, Marín can create different angles in comparison to right-handed players.

Career Highlights: Marin held the title of World Number One for a record 66 weeks. She is the only female badminton athlete to have become the World Champion three times (2014, 2015, 2018). These feats are even more impressive as Marin comes from a country which is not famous for badminton for which reason I have chosen to include her in my top 20 players.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Olympic Games2016
2World Championship2014, 2015, 2018
3European Championship2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
4China Open2018, 2019
5Syed Modi International2019
6Japan Open2017, 2018
7Hong Kong Open2015
8French Open2015
9Australian Open2015
10Malaysia Open2015
11All England Open2015
12London Open2013
13Scottish Open2013
14Italian International2013, 2019
15Finnish Open2013
16Swedish Masters2013
17Morocco International2011
18Spanish Open2011
19Cyprus International2010
20Uganda International2010

Career Singles: Carolina has played 493 Career Singles (as of 2020) and has won 381 of them.

15. Han Aiping

Bio: Han Aiping was born in Wuhan, China on 22nd April 1962. She was ranked among the best female badminton players in 1980. Aiping played not only singles, but also doubles with her rival, Li Lingwei.

Style of Play: Han Aiping is mostly known for her wonderful overhead strokes. She has been credited with redefining the women’s singles games with her speed, attacking style of play, and fitness.

Career Highlights: Han Aiping was the most successful player at the World Championship where she won two golds and one silver in singles.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1World Championships1979, 1985, 1987
2Asian Games1986
3World Grand Prix1984, 1988
4Japan Open1983, 1988
5Badminton World Cup1983, 1988
6Dutch Masters1984
7Scandinavian Cup1984
8Hong Kong Open1985, 1987
9All England Open1985
10Malaysia Open1985, 1988, 1989
11Swedish Open1985, 1988
12China Open1986
13German Open1988

Han Apining retired in 1989 from the National Chinese Badminton Team. In 1994 she trained badminton club team members in Australia. In 2002, when she returned to China, she became the head coach and head of the teaching and research team of the Hubei Badminton Women’s Team.

She tragically died of lung cancer on 16th October 2019.

14. Pullela Gopichand

Bio: Pullela Gopichand was born in Andhra Pradesh, India on 16th November 1973. Making a considerable impact at international level, he unfortunately suffered an injury in 1994 when his ACL was torn, which was a set-back for his career.

Style of Play: Gopichand had an aggressive playing style that set him apart from many Indian players.

Career Highlights: Gopichand won the National Badminton Championship title five times in a row, from 1996–2000.

In 2001, he won the All England Open Badminton Championship by defeating Peter Gade in semi-final and Chen Hong in the final. He was the second Indian to have won this Championship, after Prakash Padukone. This win was all the more notable as Gopichand, already suffering from a serious knee injury, had to play on a concrete court which must have damaged his knee more.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Le Volant d’Or de Toulouse1999
2Scottish Open1999
3India International1999
4All England Open2001
5India Asian Satellite2004

Career Singles: Gopichand played a total of 187 Career Singles, winning 128 of them.

Gopichand, after retiring in 2005, founded the Gopichand Badminton Academy in 2008. He has coached the Indian national badminton team and was the coach in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.  

13. Saina Nehwal

Bio: Saina Nehwal was born in Haryana, India on 17th March 1990. She was the first female badminton player from India to attain the World Number One ranking.

Style of Play: Nehwal is a very calm player and analyses her opponents during the matches. She engages her opponent in long rallies and wins the point by taking advantage of the opponent’s fatigue or mistakes. She has in recent years trained to adopt a more aggressive and attacking approach to her game.

Career Highlights: Nehwal has been credited with increasing badminton’s popularity in India. At a time when India was particularly keen on cricket, Nehwal became the World Number One, which certainly put the focus on badminton as a competitive sport. She is also the only Indian female athlete to have won a medal in every major BWF event (the Olympics, BWF Championship and BWF Junior Championship).

Nehwal became the youngest Asian and the first Indian female to have won a 4-star tournament in 2006.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Commonwealth Games2010, 2018
2Indonesia Masters2019
3Australian Open2014, 2016
4India Open2015
5China Open2014
6Denmark Open2012
7Indonesia Open2009, 2010, 2012
8Singapore Open2010
9Malaysia Masters2017
10Syed Modi International2009, 2014, 2015
11Thailand Open2012
12Swiss Open2011, 2012
13Chinese Taipei Open2008
14Philippines Open2006

Career Singles: Saina has played 629 Career Singles (as of 2020) and has won 433 of them.

12. Rudy Hartono Kurniawan

Bio: Rudy Hartono Kurniawan was born in Surbhaya, Indonesia on 18th August 1949. Kurniwan showed athletic prowess from a young age, playing various sports such as athletics, volleyball and football as well as badminton.

Style of Play: Hartono had a deliberately slow style of playing, which would not bode very well for today’s fast paced game. However, his style frustrated his opponents as he made few mistakes and his shots were very accurate.

Career Highlights: Hartono won the singles title at the All England Championships eight times. At the age of 18, he was the youngest champion to win the All England Championship. The eight-time win record has been cited in the Guinness Book of Records.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Olympic Games1972
2IBF World Championship1980
3All England Championship1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976
4Northern Indian1968
5U.S. Open1969  
6Canadian Open1969, 1971  
7Singapore Open1969
8Western Indian1971
9Denmark Open1971, 1973, 1975
10Japan Open1981

Hartono, post-retirement, was involved with the Indonesian Badminton Association until 2006 and is currently a member of its Board of Honour. He had been appointed as Indonesia’s Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Programme.

11. Wang Yihan

Bio: Wang Yihan was born in Shanghai, China on 18th January 1988. She started her career at the age of nine and by 2009 was one of the top ranked Women’s Singles players.

Style of Play: Wang had a very consistent style of play and dominated her rivals regularly. With exceptional footwork and a variety of shots, she could ruthlessly attack her opponents if they lost focus during rallies.

Career Highlights: Wang enjoyed a record winning streak of 20 Superseries titles (Singles) in 12 different tournaments from 2008–2014.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1World Championships2011
2World Cup2006
3Asian Games2014
4Asian Championships2011, 2013, 2016
5BWF World Superseries Finals2011
6Korea Open2011, 2014
7Indonesia Open2011
8China Open2011
9Denmark Open2010, 2013
10Japan Open2008, 2009, 2011
11All England Open2009
12Swiss Open2009, 2014
13French Open2009, 2010
14Hong Kong Open2009, 2013
15Malaysia Open2012
16Singapore Open2013, 2014
17China Masters2012
18Chinese Taipei Open2015
19German Open2009, 2013
20Macau Open2009
21Russian Open2007
22Bitburger Open2007

Career Singles: Yihan retired in 2016 after the Olympics. She played 459 Career singles matches and won 368 of them.

10. Chen Long

Bio: Chen Long was born in Shashi District, Hubei, China on 18th January 1989. He started his career with impressive wins in 2007. He is the reigning Olympic champion and two-time winner of the World Championships and All England Open.

Style of Play: Chen Long is known for his rock-solid defence, restrained style of play and patience during the rally. He plays many rallies at a slow pace. Chen mainly relies on frustrating his opponents and capitalising on their mistakes.

Career Highlights: Chen Long has been a great player in the era of Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei and has beaten them both on multiple occasions.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1French Open2018, 2019
2China Open2010, 2012,2013,2017
3Asia Championship2017
4Olympic Games2016
5Denmark Open2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
6Korea Open2014, 2015
7World Championships2014, 2015
8Chinese Taipei Open2015
9Australian Open2015
10Malaysian Open2015
11All England Open2013, 2015
12Super Series Masters Finals2012,2014
13German Open2013
14Hong Kong Open2012
15Thailand Open2011
16Bitburger Open2010
17Philippine Open2009

Career Singles: Chen Long has played 555 (as of 2020) career singles, winning 441 of them.

9. Li Lingwei

Bio: Li Lingwei was born in Zhejiang, China on 4th January 1964. Starting her career in 1980, she is one of the greatest badminton players in the history of the women’s game.

Style of Play: Lingwei was a fantastic player who never missed her shots; she had an impressive coverage of the court and strong net play.

Career Highlights: During the 1980’s, Lingwei completely dominated the game, winning over 40 open international titles.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1World Championship1983, 1989
2World Grand Prix1983, 1985, 1986, 1987
3Badminton World Cup1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
4Indonesia Open1984, 1985, 1987, 1988
5Malaysia Open1984, 1987
6All England Open1984, 1989
7Hong Kong Open1986
8Japan Open1982, 1986, 1987, 1989
9Scandinavian Open1987
10China Open1987, 1988
11Thailand Open1988
12Carlsberg Classic1988
13Denmark Open1988
14French Open1989
15Swedish Open1985

Lingwei retired in 1989 and became a coach. She was the assistant coach of the national team of China in 1991 and became head coach of the women’s team in 1994. 

In 2012 Lingwei was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee. She was elected as the Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee in 2016 and is also involved in women’s participation and their fair representation in sport.

8. Zhang Ning

Bio: Zhang Ning was born in Jinzhou, Liaoning, China on 19th May 1975. Although she entered the International game around mid-1990s, she had her breakthrough as a dominant player during the IBF World Championship in 2003.

Style of Play: Ning had a consistent style of play that included deceptive shots and constant pressure on her opponent. She controlled the pace of the rally and made her opponent run around the court to great effect.

Career Highlights: Ning is the only female badminton player to win Olympic gold for singles consecutively (2004 and 2008). She is also the first player – of two –  to win five World Championship medals (one gold, two silvers and two bronzes); the second female player was  P.V. Sindhu.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Olympic Games2004, 2008
2French Open1994
3Swedish Open1996
4Malaysia Open1998, 2004
5Singapore Open2001, 2003, 2005
6South Korea Open2002
7World Badminton Grand Prix1998
8Copenhagen Masters1998
9Asian Championship2001
10Aviva Open2004, 2007
11China Open2005, 2006
12Japan Open2005, 2006
13World Championship2003
14Swiss Open2003
15Chinese Taipei Open2006
16German Open2003, 2006
17Hong Kong Badminton Championship2005
18Korea Open2004
19Hong Kong Open2003
20Asian Games1998, 2002, 2006
21Uber Cup 2006
22China Masters2005

Zhang Ning retired after the 2008 Olympic Games. She started coaching and developing the women’s singles players in the Chinese National Team.

7. Taufik Hidayat

Bio: Taufik Hidayat was born in Bandung, Indonesia on 10th August 1981. He is a former World Number One player, starting his career at an early age.

Style of Play: Hidayat had a deceptive style  and combined the power of forehand and backhand. He had a very diverse style of play that included his persistence at net shots and smooth footwork. He is most famous for his backhand smash together with his forehand jump smash and reverse slice drop shot.

Career Highlights: Hidayat won the Indonesia Open a record of six times (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006).

At the 2006 World Championship, his forehand jump smash was one of the fastest recorded in singles competition at 305 km/hr (190 mph).

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Olympic Games2004
2World Championship2005
3Asian Games2002, 2006
4Asian Championship2000, 2004, 2007
5Southeast Asian Games1999, 2007  
6French Open2010
7Brunei Open1998  
8Indonesia Open1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
9Malaysia Open2000
10Singapore Open2001, 2005
11Chinese Taipei Open2002  
12Macau Open2008
13U.S. Open2009
14India Open2009
15Canada Open2010
16Indonesia Masters2010
17Syed Modi International2011
18Badminton Asia Championships2000, 2004, 2007
19BWF World Championships2005

Career Singles: Taufik Hidayat played 551 Career Singles, winning 413 of them.

Hidayat retired in 2013 from international matches.

6. Tai Tzu Ying

Bio: Tai Tzu-Ying was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on 20th June 1994. She began playing badminton when she was in primary school and made her international debut in 2007.

Style of Play: Tai has an unpredictable offensive game style. She plays a variety of shots that are deceptive and is able to hit the shuttle from anywhere. Although she is spontaneous in her playing style, she is very relaxed with her hitting action. Tai has a very powerful backhand and has excellent net-play techniques.

Career Highlights: Tai has remarkable stamina and is physically very fit. She clocked the fastest smashes at 360 km/hr during the All England Open in 2016. She became the World Number 1 player at the age of 22 in December 2016 and has held the position for 148 weeks (as of 17th March 2020), which is why she is included in my top 20.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Asian Games2018
2Asian Championships2017, 2018
3Summer Universiade2017
4All England Open2017, 2018, 2020
5Denmark Open2018, 2019
6Singapore Open2017, 2019
7Malaysia Open2013, 2017, 2018, 2019
8Chinese Taipei Open2012, 2016, 2018
9Indonesia Open2016, 2018
10Indonesia Masters2018
11Hong Kong Open2014, 2016, 2017
12French Open2017
13Japan Open2012
14BWF Super Series Finals2014, 2016
15U.S. Open2011

Career Singles: Tai has played 543 (as of 2020) career singles and has won 349 of them.

5. Peter Gade

Bio: Peter Høeg Gade was born in Aalborg, Denmark on 14th December 1976. He represented Denmark at various tournaments. Winning 22 Grand-Prix titles has made him one of the most successful players of the sport. He made his international debut in 1994.

Style of Play: Gade is widely known for his smooth footwork, fast attacks and relentless pressure on his opponent. He used a wide range of outrageously deceptive shots such as reverse forehand and backhand to win points against his opponents.

Career Highlights: Gade regarded as his most notable achievements the following:  All England winner (1999), Grand Prix Finals winner (1999), Japan Open winner (1999), and Thomas Cup winner (2000).

From 1998-2000, he was the World Number One and recaptured the number one spot briefly in 2006.

Gade played in the Olympics in the singles discipline at four Games (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012).

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Scottish Open1996
2German Open1997
3Taiwan Open1997, 2000
4Hong Kong Open1997
5Japan Open1998, 1999
6Swiss Open1998
7Danish Open1998, 2000
8Malaysian Open1998
9European Championship1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2010
10All England Open Badminton Championship1999
11Ipoh Masters1999
12Copenhagen Masters1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010  
13World Grand Prix1999  
14Korea Open2000, 2001, 2005, 2009
15US Open2002
16Aviva Singapore Open2006
17Malaysian Open2007
18Denmark Open2008
19French Open2008
20Korea Open2009

Career Singles: Gade played 672 Career Singles matches and won 517 of them.

Peter Gade retired in 2012. He is currently setting up career projects for the future. One of the projects involves the new “Peter Gade Academy” which can be accessed on his website.

4. Susi Susanti

Bio: Lucia Francisa “Susi” Susanti Haditono was born in Tasikmalaya, Indonesia on 11th February 1971. She was the only Indonesian female player to have won an Olympic Gold until Lilyana Natsir won a gold medal in Rio in 2016.

Style of Play: Susanti was a defensive player who preferred longer rallies so that she could wear down her opponent and take advantage of their errors. She played at a slow pace and limited any fast-paced exchange by playing deep clears mixed with tight drop shots. Later in her career she incorporated more smashes in her game play.

Career Highlights: Susanti dominated the game in the first half of 1990s, winning the All England four times, the World Badminton Grand Prix six times – five times consecutively – and the IBF World Championship. She is the only female badminton player to have held the Olympic, World Championship and All England titles simultaneously.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Olympic Games1992
2World Championships1993
3World Cup1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
4Southeast Asia Games1989, 1991, 1995
5Vietnam Open1997
6Indonesia Open1991,1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
7Malaysia Open1993, 1994, 1995, 1997
8World Grand Prix Finals1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996
9Chinese Taipei Open1991, 1994, 1996
10Korea Open1995
11Japan Open1992, 1994, 1995
12Thailand Open1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
13Dutch Open1993
14German Open1992, 1993
15Denmark Open1991, 1992
16Swedish Open1991
17All England Open1990, 1991
18Australian Open1990

Career Singles: Susi Susanti played a total of 309 Career singles and won 274 of them.

She retired in February 1997 after her marriage to Alan Budikusuma.

3. Morten Frost Hansen

Bio: Morten Frost Hansen sometimes known as ‘Mr Badminton’ was born on 4th April 1958, in Nykøbing Sjælland, Denmark. He won every top-level championship except the World Badminton Championships. He was amongst the top three players for 12 years.

Style of Play: Frost was known for his extraordinarily smooth and fluid footwork. His style was a cross between the traditional and the modern singles game.

Career Highlights: Frost, apart from winning most of the championships, also dominated at the All England Open Badminton Championship. In 1998, he was inducted into the BWF Badminton Hall of Fame. In 2016, Frost became the fourth player inducted into Badminton Europe’s Hall of Fame.

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Norwegian International1977
2USSR International1977
3Nordic Championship1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988
4Canadian Open1979, 1980
5Denmark Open1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989  
6All England Open1982, 1984, 1986, 1987  
7German Open1982, 1986, 1989
8Scottish Open1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989
9Welsh International1984
10Belgian International1986, 1987
11Finnish International1990
12Dutch Open1983
13Scandinavian Open1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
14World Grand Prix Finals1984
15Japan Open1984, 1990
16Poona Open1987, 1988
17Chinese Taipei Open1984, 1989  

Career Singles: Out of the 82 Career Singles that Frost played, he won 68.

Whilst he coached the Danish national team, they achieved 20 major international wins. Frost was to be the technical director of the Malaysian National Team from 2015 to 2020. However, due to personal reasons he resigned as the coach in 2017.

In 2019, Frost signed a one-year contract at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy where he would coach India’s Junior players.

2. Lee Chong Wei

Bio: At my number two spot Lee Chong Wei was born in Bagan Serai, Perak, Malaysia on 21st October 1982. He is the only Malaysian player to hold the World Number 1 ranking for 349 weeks, including a 199-week streak from 21st August 2008 to 14th June 2012.

Style of Play: Initially, Wei had a defensive style of play. However, after achieving World Number 1 ranking, he also started incorporating deceptive shots in his game. From 2011 he started to play aggressively as well as increase and vary his pace. With a major improvement to his style of play, it was said that only Lin Dan could win against him which is why Lin Dan pipped him to my number one spot.

Career Highlights: Wei is the most successful Malaysian in the history of the Olympics. He won silver medals three times at the Olympics (2008, 2012, 2006).

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Malaysia Satellite2003
2Chinese Taipei Open2004
3Malaysia Open2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018  
4Singapore Open2008
5Asia Championship2006, 2016
6Denmark Open2005, 2012
7Commonwealth Games2006, 2010, 2018  
8Swiss Open2006, 2009
9Hong Kong Open2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017
10Macau Open2009, 2010
11French Open2007, 2011, 2015
12Japan Open2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
13Philippines Open2007
14Indonesia Open2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016  
15China Open2015
16Super Series Finals2008, 2009, 2010, 2013  
17Malaysia Masters2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016
18All England Open2010, 2011, 2014, 2017  
19Korea Open2010, 2012, 2013
20India Open2011, 2013, 2014
21Canada Open2015
22U.S. Open2015

Career Singles: Lee Chong Wei played 848 Career Singles and won 713 of them.

Lee Chong Wei retired on 13th June 2019 after being diagnosed with nose cancer.

1. Lin Dan

Bio: Lin Dan was born in Longyan, Fujian, China on 14th October 1983. He is viewed as the greatest player of all time. He is a six-time All England Champion, two-time Olympic Champion and five-time World Champion.

Style of Play: Lin Dan had a very explosive style, with great deceptive shots and variation in his play. He could easily change the speed of the game and switch tactics depending on his opponent. His trade-mark shot was the around the head jump smash.

Career Highlights: He is the only player to have won an unprecedented all nine major titles in badminton (Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games, and Asian Championships)  

International Wins: The following wins are for Singles matches.

NumberInternational TitlesYear
1Korea Open2002, 2007, 2011
2Denmark Open2003, 2004, 2007
3Hong Kong Open2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011
4China Open2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011  
5Swiss Open2004, 2008, 2017
6All England Open2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2016
7German Open2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2016
8Japan Open2005, 2006, 2015
9China Masters2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016
10World Cup2005, 2006
11Chinese Taipei Open2006, 2014
12Macau Open2006
13World Championship2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013  
14Thailand Open2008
15Olympic Games2008, 2012
16French Open2009
17Badminton Asia Championship2010, 2011, 2014, 2015  
18Asian Games2010, 2014  
19Super Series Masters Finals2011
20Australian Open2014
21Brazil Open2015
22Malaysia Open2017, 2019
23New Zealand Open2018

Career Singles: Lin Dan played 798 Career Singles and won 666 of them.

Lin Dan announced his retirement on 4th July 2020.


There you have it! My list of players have been compiled not only on the basis of how many tournaments were won or played but also after taking into account the impact these players have had on the world of badminton.

There are certainly other notable players such as Chen Yufei, P.V. Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi, Viktor Axelson, Jonatan Christie, Ratchanok Intanon and many more who have left a huge impression on the sport of badminton but have nevertheless not made it into my Top 20.


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