Best Badminton Player Ever – Mixed Doubles

Mixed Doubles in Badminton is probably my favourite discipline, because it combines so many aspects of the game. Tactics are most important. The male players must think about every shot, because a wrong choice will immediately expose their female companions. Lifting is much worse than in mens doubles, so the best mixed doubles players must have great feel for soft shots below the tape. Good movement and a power smash definitely don`t hurt.

I would love to list my new favourite player Yuta Watanabe in this ranking. I fell in love with his game during the All England Championships and I am sure, he will become a Top 10 Mixed Doubles player. But for now, he still has a lot to prove. So here are the current Top 10.

10. Joachim Fisher Nielsen (Denmark)

He may not have had the most beautyful style to watch – very hectic and busy on court – , but it was simply very effective. In his partnership with Christina Peddersen, he achieved an Olympic bronze medal and was a serious contender for Super Series titles for many years. His technique was obviously not the best, but his fighting spirit and will to win was second to none.

  • Smashpower: 85%
  • Net play 80%
  • Deception: 70%
  • Creativity: 80%
  • Stamina: 95%
  • Movement: 85%

9. Chris Adcock (Great Britain)

Best Mixed Doubles Player Ever Badminton - Chris Adcock
By Pierre-Yves Beaudouin [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
I first noticed the British Badminton pro when he had his marvellous run at the World Championsships 2011 with Imogen Bankier. On home soil they managed to make it to the final and it needed no one less than Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei to stop them. But his potential was visible there for the first time. Since 2012 he teamed up with his wife Gabby Adcock and they have improved ever since. Apart from European championship titles, they haven`t scored a big title yet, but they are definitely a tier 1 mixed doubles. And the Adcocks are a nice change, playing somewhat vintage badminton with the lady challenging at the net as often as possible and the man running all over the court.

  • Smashpower: 80%
  • Net play 90%
  • Deception: 90%
  • Creativity: 95%
  • Stamina: 95%
  • Movement: 95%

Additional read: Best badminton player ever in mens singles

8. Zheng Bo (China)

The Chinese powerhouse impressed with a very strong impact on the shuttle and achieved quite a few All England and world cup titles.

  • Smashpower: 100%
  • Net play 80%
  • Deception: 80%
  • Creativity: 80%
  • Stamina: 100%
  • Movement: 90%

7. Thomas Laybourne (Denmark)

The 2009 world champion played a beautiful and clever game. He wasn`t about power, it was all finesse. Great to watch!

  • Smashpower: 80%
  • Net play 100%
  • Deception: 95%
  • Creativity: 95%
  • Stamina: 85%
  • Movement: 90%

6. Nathan Robertson (Great Britain)

The icon of British badminton was probably the best European mixed doubles player in his prime. His career highlights were the silver medal in the Olympics in Athens and being able to win the title of the prestigious Yonex All England Open on home soil.

  • Smashpower: 90%
  • Net play 85%
  • Deception: 90%
  • Creativity: 90%
  • Stamina: 80%
  • Movement: 85%

Additional read: Best badminton mixed doubles pair

5. Lee Yong Dae (Korea)

Best Mixed Doubles Player Ever Badminton - Lee Yong Dae
By Mayeres [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
He is certainly most famous for his qualities in mens doubles, but he is an Olympic champion in mixed doubles (2008). So he must be named among the Greatest of this discipline as well, although his biggest strength -the front court game- can`t have such a big effect in mixed doubles.

  • Smashpower: 85%
  • Net play 100%
  • Deception: 95%
  • Creativity: 95%
  • Stamina: 100%
  • Movement: 100%

4. Nova Widianto (Indonesia)

My favourite mixed player ever ever ever! Technique, feel for the ball and feints paired with elegance. I could just watch him play forever. Together with his fantastic partner Lilyana Natsir he achieved two world cup titles, an Olympic silver medal and quite a few victories in Super Series Tournaments. Considering his skills that`s not enough, but whatever…watching him stroking the shuttle was a treat for the eye!

  • Smashpower: 85%
  • Net play 95%
  • Deception: 100%
  • Creativity: 100%
  • Stamina: 85%
  • Movement: 90%

3. Zhang Nan (China)

Dominated the badminton world for many years with Zhao Yunlei. His flawless technique, speed and understanding of the game made him an Alltime Great mixed doubles player.

  • Smashpower: 85%
  • Net play 100%
  • Deception: 95%
  • Creativity: 95%
  • Stamina: 100%
  • Movement: 100%

Additional read: Best badminton mens doubles pair ever

2. Tontowi Ahmad (Indonesia)

Best Mixed Doubles Player Ever Badminton - Tontowi Ahmad
Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago I would not have put him above Zhang Nan for sure, maybe not even before Ko Sung hyun. Because at the start of his partnership he was not much more than speed and a power smash. Not much tactical understanding and they were successful mostly due to Natsir`s insane quality. But he evolved so much over the years and became pretty much the perfect mixed player. Defense is still worse than Liliyana`s (but who`s isn`t?), but now he even has that sneaky, clever mixed shots in his repertoire and knows exactly what the right shots are. Since Natsir is injured a lot lately he even covers most of the court alone and they still manage to win so much. It all resulted in a well-deserved Olympic gold medal 2016 without even losing a game. I bow my hat to Tontowi Ahmad, major improvements over the years have earned him the no. 2 spot in the ranking of the best mixed doubles players ever!

  • Smashpower: 100%
  • Net play 90%
  • Deception: 80%
  • Creativity: 90%
  • Stamina: 100%
  • Movement: 100%

1. Zhang Jun (China)

The Chinese Olympic mixed doubles champion participated in the most spectacular and well known rally the badminton sport ever saw.

  • Smashpower: 90%
  • Net play 95%
  • Deception: 95%
  • Creativity: 100%
  • Stamina: 90%
  • Movement: 90%

Do you agree? Or do you think, another one should be named the best badminton player ever in mixed doubles?

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