Everyone wants to be the best, only a few achieve the status of being called the best.
Becoming the world No. 1 is a feat in itself but to stay there for a considerable amount of time is nothing short of wonder. But as the saying goes, staying the No. 1 is harder than climbing it.
It requires hard work, dedication, sacrifices, blood, sweat and tears. Being the best means consistent throughout in what you do. Not many can achieve this and today, we have picked the crème de la crème of the bunch.
Here is a list of players from all disciplines who have achieved to be called best of the bests. They are the players who have the record number of weeks as the world No. 1s marked by their incomparable consistency.
Lee Chong Wei (MS)
Period: 1 October 2009 – 20 June 2012
Consecutive: 142 weeks
Total: 310 weeks
The three-time Olympic silver medalist is at the top of the list with a record-breaking 310 weeks at the No. 1 spot. On June 13, 2019, Lee finally called it quits on his career with 713 career wins.
Kento Momota (MS)
Period: 27 September 2018 – 17 March 2020 (BWF froze the world rankings on this date)
Consecutive: 76 weeks, 6 days
Total: 76 weeks, 6 days
Momota was recently inducted into the Guinness World Records Book after his 11 titles wins in 2019. He is currently the strongest candidate to win the gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
Li Xuerui (WS)
Period: 20 December 2012 – 1 April 2015
Consecutive: 119 weeks
Total: 124 weeks
After winning the gold medal at the London Olympics in August 2012, Li was ranked world No. 1 for 119 consecutive weeks. She is one of China’s most successful women’s singles players in recent history.
Tai Tzu Ying (WS)
Period: 1 December 2016 – 18 April 2018
Consecutive: 72 weeks
Total: 146 weeks, 5 days
Tai became the world No. 1 at the early age of 22 and she holds the highest number of weeks as the world No. 1 in the women’s singles discipline.
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (MD)
Period: 28 September 2017 – 17 March 2020 (BWF froze the world rankings on this date)
Consecutive: 128 weeks, 6 days
Total: 140 weeks, 6 days
The minions, as they are adoringly called, are currently one of the most successful men’s doubles pair. They go in any tournament as the favourites and are the favourite to clinch the gold at Tokyo Olympics.
Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong (MD)
Period: 14 August 2014 – 9 November 2016
Consecutive: 117 weeks
Total: 117 weeks
Lee and Yoo won 16 out of their 18 Super Series finals together. They are one of South Korea’s most successful men’s doubles pairings. Known for their perfect combination of attack and defence, the duo split after the 2016 Korea Open which was their last title together.
Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (WD)
Period: 17 March 2016 – 25 October 2017
Consecutive: 84 weeks
Total: 127 weeks
The 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalists have been paired since they were in middle school. Known as Takamatsu by their fans, they can be credited as the first pair who broke the Chinese dominance in the women’s doubles discipline and ushered in the dawn of the Japanese women’s doubles era.
Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang (WD)
Period: 28 April 2011 – 19 September 2012
Consecutive: 73 weeks
Total: 136 weeks
This pair from China is one of the most dominating and powerful women’s doubles pair. They occupy the spot for the highest number of weeks as the world No. 1s in their discipline. They were the 2011 and 2013 world champions as well.
Huang Ya Qiong and Zheng Si Wei (XD)
Period: 9 August 2018 – 17 March 2020 (BWF froze the world rankings on this date)
Consecutive: 83 weeks, 6 days
Total: 83 weeks, 6 days
China has endlessly produced golden generations in the mixed doubles discipline. Huang Ya Qiong and Zheng Si Wei are now the flagbearers of Chinese mixed doubles. The pair looks solid for gold at the Tokyo Olympics with the 2018 and 2019 World Championships gold medals under their name.
Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan (XD)
Period: 3 February 2011 – 15 August 2012
Consecutive: 80 weeks
Total: 236 weeks
The 2012 London Olympics champions are one of the most successful pairings in their disciplines and they are one of the very few pairs that need no introduction. Besides their gold at the London Olympics, they won the World Championships in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Their 236 weeks as world No. 1 is the highest number of weeks in mixed doubles.