Best Badminton Players (Updated 2021)

In this article, I will talk about the best badminton players in the world.

My name is TSE Bun, I am an ex-professional badminton player with a world ranking of 30 for men’s singles, and a Badminton World Federation certified advanced badminton coach with over 30 years of experience.

Badminton is my lifelong passion and watching and analyzing how different badminton players are one of my favorite hobbies during my off time.

Best Badminton Players of All Time

LEE Chong Wei

Basic Information of LEE Chong Wei

  • Right-handed player
  • 713 wins, 135 losses for Men’s singles, 2 wins, 4 losses for Men’s doubles, 1 win for Mixed doubles
  • Strings Tensions Used: 30 lbs, 33 lbs, or even a vertical / horizontal tension of 33lbs / 36lbs
  • Rackets used (From Old to New): Yonex AT900P, Yonex VT80, Yonex Voltric Z-Force Limited Edition, Yonex Voltric Z-Force II, Yonex Duora10

Professional Life

LEE Chong Wei is a professional badminton player from Malaysia, LEE was ranked first worldwide on 21 August 2008, he is the 4th Malaysian badminton player who gets to reach the world no.1 ranking.  

The first three badminton Malaysian badminton player who achieved the same position was: 

  1. Abdul Rashid Mohamed Sidek
  2. Muhammad Roslin Hashim
  3. Wong Choong Hann

LEE Chong Wei is also the first Malaysian badminton player ranked 1st in the world for over a year. He is also the record holder of the badminton player who used to rank no. 1 in the world for the longest period (349 weeks in total, including 200 consecutive weeks!!)

This is what LEE Chong Wei achieve:

  • Won 69 BWF singles titles (including 42 BWF Super Series titles)
  • Reach the record of 4 BWF Super Series Finals
  • Won every BWF Super Series Premier title
  • Won 3 Olympic Silver Medals
  • Won 3 World Championships Silver Medals

LEE Chong Wei retired on 13 June 2019 after he was diagnosed with nose cancer for around a year. 

Personal Life

LEE Chong Wei is married to Malaysia badminton player Mew Choo WONG, they have 2 sons together: Kingston LEE and Terrance LEE. LEE is a Datuk in Malaysia, and he is considered a national hero by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

LEE Chong Wei also started a Badminton Academy, the Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei Badminton Academy located in Perak, Malaysia.


Basic Information of LIN Dan

  • Nickname: Super Dan
  • Left-handed player
  • 659 wins, 124 losses for Men’s singles
  • 0 wins, 1 loss for Men’s doubles

Professional Life

LIN Dan is a professional badminton player from China, he was the first Men’s single badminton player who won 2 consecutive Olympic gold medals, in the years 2008 and 2012. 

He is also the only player who won the BWF World Championships 5 times. (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012), as well as the 6-time winner of All England Champion.

In 2004, after winning the All England Open final, LIN Dan was called “Super Dan” by his Opponent Peter Gade. Since then, this nickname has been widely used by his fans and media.

LIN Dan became the first and the only player who completed the Super Grand Slam: he won 9 major badminton titles: 

  1. Olympic Games
  2. World Championships
  3. World Cup
  4. Thomas Cup
  5. Sudirman Cup
  6. Super Series Masters Finals
  7. All England Open
  8. Asian Games
  9. Asian Championships

He is also the first 4 consecutive winners of Badminton Men’s singles in the National Games of the People’s Republic of China. By 4 July 2020, LIN Dan announced his retirement. 

Personal Life

LIN Dan is married to another famous world ranking no.1 Chinese badminton player, XIE Xingfang, they have a son together.

LIN Dan has published a book “To the End of the World” to talk about his badminton life.

Current Best Badminton Players in the World

TAI Tzu-Ying

Basic Information

  • Right-handed player
  • 406 wins, 152 losses for Women’s singles
  • 2 wins, 8 losses for Women’s doubles
  • 1 win, 2 losses for Mixed doubles

TAI Tzu-Ying is a Taiwanese professional badminton player, she became the world No. 1 IN the women’s singles in 2016 December when she was only 22 years old, since then, she had been ranking at the top for 148 weeks till 17 March 2020.

TAI won her first international title when she was only 17 during the U.S. Open (Grand Prix Gold tournament).

In 2016, TAI Tzu-Ying became the world No. 1 of women’s singles when she was only 22 years old. Since then, until 17 March 2020, she was retained as the world’s No. 1 Women’s singles player. 

Note: BWF decided to freeze the world ranking calculation of badminton players because of COVID-19 on 17 March 2020. 

This is what TAI Tzu-Ying achieved so far:

  • 3 times All England Open Badminton Championships titles (2017, 2018, 2020)
  • 3 times BWF World Tour Finals Winner (2014, 2016, 2020)
  • Winner of Women’s singles of 2017 Summer Universiade
  • Winner of Women’s singles of 2018 Asian Games
  • Became the record holder of Super Series Women Singles Winners (21 times!) by 2020

Best Badminton Players – FAQs

Who is the Richest Badminton Player?

LEE Chong Wei is the highest-paid badminton player while LIN Dan is the second-highest-paid badminton player. The estimated income for LEE and LIN for the year of 2020 – 2021 from work is around 75 million and 33 million respectively.

They can also earn from advertisements and sponsors, which is a pretty good sum of money.

How do I Start a Career in Badminton?

Here are the steps to start a career in badminton:

  1. Buy proper gears and equipment, at least, get yourself a pair of badminton shoes, you can wait a bit for the racket, most instructor can bring a spare racket for their first-timer students
  2. Find a good instructor and learn from him or her
  3. Master the basics skills of badminton and start practicing
  4. Start exercising and build up a good diet, so you can get in shape faster
  5. Master sketching and learn how to protect yourself when you play badminton
  6. Play will different players, better play with those at the same level as you, or better than you
  7. Start playing tournament
  8. Win the tournament and keep playing and learning
  9. It is a good idea for you to attend an instructor course when you are still a professional player
  10. Keep playing, teaching, and practicing, become a good badminton player and instructor!

My Verdict

It is a pleasure to play with great badminton players, watching them playing is also such an enjoyment. 

I hope you enjoy this article as I do, and please feel free to suggest more great players!

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