Top 6 Best Doubles Table Tennis Partners of All Time

Top 6 Best Doubles Table Tennis Partners of All Time

While table tennis may appear like a smaller version of a tennis court, its play requires quick thinking and precise targeting in an incredibly fast-paced environment. Doubles partners in table tennis thrive on intense coordination and strategy. Read on to discover which partners have dominated the table throughout the sport’s history.

Who Are the Best Doubles Table Tennis Partners in the World?

  1. Viktor Barna and Miklós Szabados
  2. Mária Mednyánszky and Anna Sipos
  3. Qiao Hong and Deng Yaping
  4. Ma Long and Xu Xin
  5. Wang Liqin and Yan Sen
  6. Wang Tao and Liu Wei

1. Viktor Barna and Miklós Szabados

  • Won six World Championship Doubles titles
  • Inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
  • Inducted into the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Hall of Fame

In the early history of table tennis, many Hungarian and Czech players captivated championship leaderboards. Barna and Szabados are a great example of this Hungarian dominance. Szabados earned his first victory at a Hungarian tournament by defeating Barna. After the competition, they joined forces and became one of the most legendary duos. 

Barna and Szabados collected six World Championship wins together (four of which were consecutive), the most for any men’s doubles duo. They were thus awarded the Iran Cup six times. Their hold on the leaderboard from 1929-1932 and 1934-1935 is truly inspirational, hence their induction into both the Internal Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the International Table Tennis Federation Hall of Fame.

2. Mária Mednyánszky and Anna Sipos

  • Won six consecutive World Championship titles
  • Won the W.J. Pope Trophy together six times
  • Inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame

This duo was a perfect match. Mária Mednyánszky was the first-ever gold medalist at the World Table Tennis Championship in 1926, winning for five years straight until Anna Sipos took over the victories for two years. Once these two powerhouses teamed up in 1930, they were unstoppable. Earning six consecutive W.J. Pope Trophies at the World Championships, no duo has yet beat their outstanding record.

The pair also found success apart from each other in the mixed doubles. Sipos won the World Championship twice with Viktor Barna, and Mednyánszky earned the gold with Miklós Szabados three times. The two women were inducted into the International Table Tennis Federation Hall of Fame in 1993 to honor their legacy in the sport. 

3. Qiao Hong and Deng Yaping

  • Won two consecutive Olympic gold medals
  • Won the World Championship
  • Inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame

The iconic partnership of Qiao Hong and Deng Yaping almost never existed. Yaping was nearly barred from the Chinese team due to her small stature, but luckily, her skills proved too great to pass up. Once she was accepted, Hong and Yaping immediately left their mark on the sport.

The pair won Olympic gold in women’s doubles in 1996 and 2000; they are the only doubles team to win gold more than once at the Olympics. Additionally, they medaled at the World Championships three times, winning one gold and two silver. While retired from the sport, they are both still active in the table tennis scene. The duo are both members of the International Table Tennis Federation Hall of Fame, and Yaping was even voted Chinese Athlete of the Century in 2003.

4. Ma Long and Xu Xin

  • 2011 World Championship gold medal winners
  • Won the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour German Open
  • 2009 World Championship silver medalists

This partnership succeeds because of its combination of one of the greatest singles players, Ma Long, and one of the greatest doubles players, Xu Xin. Ma Long is a 13-time World Champion, three of which were in consecutive singles. Xu Xin has won the World Championship in doubles three times, each time with a different singles all-star: Ma Long, Zhang Jike, and Fan Zhendong.

Together, Ma Long and Xu Xin won the 2011 World Championship and multiple ITTF World Tour Opens, including the 2018 German Open, the 2018 Bulgarian Open, the 2013 China Open, three Japan Opens, the 2012 Korean Open, and the 2009 Qatar and Danish Opens.

5. Wang Liqin and Yan Sen

  • Won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics
  • Two-time World Champions
  • Won World Championship silver and bronze medals

Wang Liqin and Yan Sen’s place on this list comes from their successful blend of skills. Liqin’s tall stature and long arms give him immense power for his forehand, and Sen has a unique technical precision in his control of the ball. Together, the team balanced their qualities to dominate.

After coming in as runners-up in the 1999 Dutch World Table Tennis Championships, the duo had an incredible streak at the turn of the century. They won the 2000 Sydney Olympics together, and then they rose to the top with gold in the men’s doubles at both the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. Although the pair missed the 2004 Olympics, they came back to the scene in the 2005 World Championships and won bronze.

6. Wang Tao and Liu Wei

  • Three-time World Champions
  • First mixed doubles World Champions to win three times in a row
  • Inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame

Wang Tao and Liu Wei are one of the greatest mixed doubles pairings of all time. The two have a chemistry during the game that allows them to work together seamlessly. Although Liu Wei won bronze at the World Championship in 1989 with Gao Jun, as soon as she teamed up with Wang Tao, the two were legendary.

The duo went on to win three consecutive World Championships in 1991, 1993, and 1995, the first doubles team to win three World Championships in a row. After retiring from the sport, Liu Wei earned her doctorate, and Wang Tao became head of the Chinese Military Table Tennis team.

Honorable Mentions

  • Vlasta Depetrisová and Věra Votrubcová
  • Chen Qi and Ma Lin
  • Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang
  • Hans Alsér and Kjell Johansson
  • Ichiro Ogimura and Fujie Eguchi
  • Ferenc Sidó and Angelica Rozeanu
  • Diane Rowe and Rosalind Rowe
  • Wang Nan and Zhang Yining
  • Mizutani Jun and Ito Mima
  • Hyung Jung Hwa and Yang Young Ja
  • Chen Longcan and Wei Qing Guang


Who are the best doubles table tennis players in the world?

The best doubles table tennis players in the world were Viktor Barna and Miklós Szabados. Though they started out as separate singles players, when they united as a team, Barna and Szabados were an almost unstoppable force. Together, they won six World Championship Doubles titles, six Iran Cups, and held the leaderboard in doubles table tennis from 1929-1932 and 1934-1935. These feats made them easy candidates for entry into the ITTF Hall of Fame.

Who has won the most doubles table tennis matches?

Two sets of partners tie for the most doubles table tennis matches: first, Viktor Barna and partner Miklós Szabados, and second, Mária Mednyánszky and partner Anna Sipos. Both pairs achieved a whopping six World Championship doubles titles in the same era of the sport, the early 1930s. While Barna and Szabados celebrated four consecutive wins out of six, Mednyánszky and Sipos won all six in mindblowing succession. Both are inspiring feats that cement their places as the greatest players of all time.