Best Badminton Players [2022 Review]

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The badminton world is constantly evolving, with new players emerging and older players retiring. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best badminton players. Who will come out on top? Read on to find out.

Our Top Badminton Players Reviews

These rankings are due to the combination of performance and potential, which is why some players may be higher up than others on this list despite being less experienced.

Lin Dan

Lin Dan

This badminton player has been playing since the early 2000s and still went strong until July 2020, when his career ended. In 2008, Lin won a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics, which earned him recognition among the best badminton players. 

Lin Dan was also ranked #2 by Forbes on their 2015 list for Highest-Paid Athletes in China. Unlike any other player on this list, he is the record holder of two gold Olympic medals in a row.

Many experts regard Lin Dan as the most outstanding male player of all time. Lin Dan won all 9 major titles at 28, completing the “Super Grand Slam.” Lee Chong Wei only stopped his winning streak at Rio in the 2016 semi-finals.

This badminton player has set the bar incredibly high, with numerous achievements that make him stand apart from others in his field. Although with age, his stamina and speed reduced.

Strengths

  • Lin Dan could play under pressure as he won five world championships.
  • Because of his great attacking techniques, he also has an excellent record of winning six times All-England championships.

Weakness

  • Lin Dan’s attacks are ineffective against his defenses. As a result, you may take down Dan Lin if you utilize big net deceptions and other techniques like him.
  • Because of his age, his speed and stamina declined.

Lee Wei Chong

Chong Wei Lee

He is a professional badminton player from Malaysia. He also holds the record for the second most BWF titles in history, at 64 titles to date. Unlike other players, he is the first one who has managed to defeat Lin Dan.

Chong Wei Lee started playing badminton at age 11 and has participated in many international Badminton championships and has received many awards throughout his career.

He was also once ranked World No.1 on the official BWF ranking system when he reached his peak from 2008 to 2012.  Unlike Viktor, who weighs 62 lbs, Lee has more speed while playing because he weighs 132 lbs. However, he is weak at defending push shots.

He is also the top six Malaysian players ever to win a silver Olympic medal and was awarded the DB (Darjah Bakti) title by Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin for this achievement.

In 2018, he was diagnosed with nose cancer and withdrew from the Malaysia Open. However, this didn’t stop him from representing Asia in Thomas Cup 2018, where he won both singles matches against Denmark players.

Strengths

  • He has the fastest footwork, even at his old age, unlike Lin Dan.
  • Great at playing variations like deceptive drop shots or smashes to fool opponents.

Weakness

  • He has a weak backhand defense.
  • He is not good at defending push shots.

Chen Long

Chen Long

He is a Chinese badminton player ranked as No.6 by Badminton World Federation (BWF) in the men’s singles.

Chen started playing at the very young age of eight and has participated in international championships since his junior career. He was two times world junior champion in 2007 in both boy’s singles and mixed teams. 

Chen Long won gold at the world championship in 2015 and became the champ in the Rio Olympic games in 2016. 

In 2015 he was awarded the Best Badminton Player Of The Year due to his fantastic performance and rising career.

Chen Long is a powerful player who can create smashes from every corner. His Li Ning 3D Calibar 900 racket, unlike Viktor’s Yonex Duora Z Strike.

Unlike Lin Dan, he has an excellent defensive mechanism attributed to his incredible patience, footwork, and reaction speed. However, he also fights coping up with pressure in tight matches.

Strengths

  • Chen Long is good at half-smashes and cross drops which makes him lethal against his opponents.
  • His hard work and dedication towards badminton can be seen in his performance with no proper training or professional coaching during his junior days. 

Weakness

  • Chen Long lacks the consistency found in most top Chinese players. 
  • Unlike Lin Dan, he has a problem of being unable to cope with pressure during tight matches making him unable to predict attacks from opponents.

Viktor Axelsen

Viktor Axelsen

Viktor Axelsen is a Danish badminton player who ranks No. 2 by Badminton World Federation (BWF) in the men’s singles. 

He won his first title at the Swiss Open, in which he won his Grand Prix title. Viktor Axelsen has also managed to defeat the all-time badminton champion, Lin Dan, twice, with his height being a significant advantage to his steep smashes.

Viktor’s win was due to the age difference because he was a bit younger than Lin Dan during their match. He has a weakness in fitness level, which might hinder his success.

In 2017 he became Denmark’s first-ever world champion after defeating Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia. In 2017 Axelsen won the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and Dubai World Superseries Finals, which led him to be among the world ranking badminton players. 

Strengths

  • Axelsen is known for his hard work and dedication to badminton which is evident in his cutting off most push shots.
  • Because of his tall height, unlike Lee Chong Wei, he is very good at offensive play.

Weakness

  • Viktor Axelsen lacks the consistency exhibited by most top players. However, his improvement ability has made him one of the finest players Denmark has ever produced. 
  • His fitness level is not as good as other top players; if he could improve it, he would reach Lee Chong Wei or Chen Long.

Features to Consider for Best Badminton Players

Achievements

Of course, their accomplishments in badminton are the most important factors when ranking them. Many people mention that the current BWF points system is unfair, yet it stores all of the players’ records accurately.

Lin DanLee Chong WeiChen LongViktor Axelsen
Age38 years39 years32 years27 years
Weight154 lbs132 lbs165 lbs194 lbs
Height 5.83 feet5.64 feet6.13 feet6.36 feet
Racket UsedYonex Voltric 1Yonex Duora 10Li Ning 3D Calibar 900Yonex Duora Z Strike
Dominant HandLeftRightRightRight

So, we can’t deny the importance of this system in placing players at different ranks throughout history. Lin Dan still has a record of winning the Olympic gold medal twice.

Badminton player down smash

Personal achievements have the highest value. It’s not just because of their age that we call them the youngest ever. However, what they do and how far they can go in this sport is another concern for everyone who loves badminton.

Speed

In this sport, speed is one of the most important things a player needs to have. They need to act fast to get into good positions, which can help them play the game more effectively.

If you cannot move quickly on the badminton court, your opponent will have the upper hand over you. Lee Chong Wei is the best when it comes to speed.

You can’t win a badminton match if your opponent is faster than you on the court, so it’s better to start practicing different styles of running for badminton if you want to be one of the best players in this sport.

Height

The best badminton players are quite tall and have a height advantage over their opponents. This allows them to hit the shuttlecock hard, making it difficult for their opponent to return the shot.

Therefore, Viktor’s 6.36 feet height gives him a better advantage than shorter players like Lee Wei.

Racket Used

A balance between power, control, and maneuverability is crucial in selecting a racket that suits you.  Unlike Lee Wei, who uses a Yonex Duora Z Strike racket, Chen’s Li Ning 3D Calibar 900 racket is suitable for delivering powerful smashes and heavy swings

The badminton racket should be light enough for you to swing easily yet heavy enough to provide stability during contact with the shuttlecock. 

Playing Hand

Best players in badminton play with their left hand, which means they can dominate the game. They can control and hit hard when playing with their right hand, making it difficult for opponents to stop them from dominating the match. 

Badminton player drive shot

This is evident in Lin Dan since he’s left-handed, giving him a better competitive advantage than right-handed players like Chen Wong.

Endurance

Consistency and endurance are two things you need to have in this sport. If you can make your opponent tired, it’ll be easy for you to defeat them eventually. 

Some players are fast, like Lee Chong Wei, though they cannot continue their speed throughout the game because of a lack of endurance power.

They become more vulnerable at that time which is terrible for them. On the other hand, if you are in good shape physically and have the stamina to move quickly throughout the game, no one will beat you quickly, even if you are also a fast player.

Ability to Play Under Pressure

You need to react smartly and quickly if you want to defeat your opponents. It is not easy, especially when under pressure, because there’s no way to win a game if you think about too many things before starting it. 

If you want to be the best badminton player soon, you should learn to play under pressure and enjoy the natural taste of this fantastic sport. This is evident in Lin Dan’s performance in all his matches.

Strong Mental Strength

Badminton is a great game, though it requires solid mental skills to be one of the best players in this sport. You can’t make your opponent tired with your mediocre performance throughout the match. 

If you can make your opponent tired, it’ll be effortless for you to win the game because there’s only one person who can play on your side at that time while there are two persons on the other side. 

Just like Viktor Axelsen, it would help if you tried to fight with both of them mentally to make them feel sad and lonely before the start of the game.

It may sound like a tricky thing to do, yet it’s worth trying if you want to succeed in badminton.

Badminton player counter shot

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is the Greatest Badminton Player of All Time?

Lin Dan, aka “Super Dan,” had a very successful twenty-year career. By the age of 28 had won all nine major international championships, scooping five gold world championship medals and two in the world cup. Lin is also the only player to win two consecutive Olympic games.

Who Is the Greatest Female Badminton Player of All Time?

Zhang Ning is considered to be the greatest female player of all time. Throughout her 385 wins to 97 losses career, she won two gold medals in the Olympics,  gold, two bronze, and two silver medals in world championships. In the world cup, she won a silver medal.

Which Country Has the Best Badminton Players?

China has remained dominant since 1977 to date. In the 2020 badminton Olympics, they won the most medals bringing their all-time totals to 61 gold, 42 silver, 64 bronze medals. In 1987, 2010, and 2011, China got a shutout in the Olympics and remained the only country in history to do so.

Conclusion

The best players play tough matches against each other although there can only be one winner. They have won many prestigious titles for the country they represent and themselves. With hard work and dedication towards this sport, anyone can achieve greatness like these legends.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.