Ma Long has already been declared as GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) and the simple reason is, he’s broken all the records of Table Tennis.
Like, Lui Guoliang, Kong Linghui, and Zhang Jike; Ma Long is a Grand Slam winner meaning he has won the Olympics, World Cup, and the World Table Tennis Championship (WTTC) titles.
He is also the only male player in the world to have won every ITTF recognized table tennis tournament in the world. I think this title will remain with him for quite a long time.
He also broke the record of Vladimir Samsonov’s 27 championship titles.
I personally think he is the most powerful because he has speed, power, movement, in-game strategy. Zhang Jike is the only person who was equal to this. The primary difference between Ma and Zhang is what makes the former one of the greatest and they are: Humility and nerves. The match that I keep watching repeatedly is 2005 Austrian Open finals between Ma Long and Zhang Jike. The final set score was 3–3 Zhang Jike leading 13–12. Zhang Jike needed just one point to win the tournament. But Ma Long endures a painstaking rally and wins the tournament from that point. That’s something only a God with nerves of steel can do. And talking about humility, Ma never disrespects the opponent or does sledging, neither does he damage any physical object in and around the court.
However, the only thing I believe both Ma Long and Zhang Jike lack is entertainment for the audience. This is where people like Jan Ove Waldner, Timo Boll, and Xu Xin win the heart.