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Zhang Nan and Liu Cheng

Discussion in 'China Professional Players' started by xiaoqiao, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. xiaoqiao

    xiaoqiao Regular Member

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    Well, we have to start a thread for this pair who won the WC in Glasgow.

    Zhang Nan is the greatest doubles player of all time in my opinion.
    Liu Cheng has certainly improved a lot himself over the past year as well.

    Look forward to this pair winning more titles!
     
  2. Yoji

    Yoji Regular Member

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    I think so. Zhang is superb in Glasgow, Tall and motoring its hard to beat him. LiuCheng just looks good in it.

    I think for ZhangNan to win more titles, he need to focus in Men's Double. Playing in XD and needs lot of smashing dont suit him anymore. Afterall, Li YH is just so so.
     
  3. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    I agree, Zhang Nan is the greatest doubles player of all time, winning multiple major and other prestigious titles in both XD and MD, that with different partners.

    The best part is he is still in his prime at age 27 now, born 1st Mar 1990. Undoubtedly, many more good years ahead of him to shine on his already magnificent curriculum vitae.

    Just that I'm not sure if it's still a good idea for him to continue doing double duty in XD and MD at his current age if he wants to do equally well at the top , particularly in aiming for Tokyo 2020 when he will be 30 by then.
     
  4. The 'Fe' Man

    The 'Fe' Man Regular Member

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    I agree with you guys on the fact that Zhan and Liu are pretty amazing on court, but disagree that Zhang is the greatest doubles player of all time. If you mean 'one of the greatest' then kinda but 'the greatest', then no. There are so many doubles players that are better than him, Lee Yong Dae, Fu Hai Feng, Cai Yun, Jung Jae Sung, Park Joo-bong, Kim Dong-moon and others.
     
  5. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    We're talking about Zhang Nan as a doubles player, not as a XD or MD alone. Most of those you mentioned or are referring to, only played one discipline, mainly MD.

    Anyway, at least, we can agree that the jury is still out whether he is the GOAT of doubles. The scary part is he is still only 27 years old and he says he's going to carry on until he is 34, Heaven knows, how many more titles big and small he is going to accumulate going forward until he retires.
     
  6. stanleyfm

    stanleyfm Regular Member

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    Difficult to imagine Zhang Nan to be considered as the greatest. Personally, I will even prefer Gao Ling, Zhao Yunlei and even Rexy Mainaky (even only for MD, but considered as the most succesful pair at the decade, something that Zhang Nan is not considered for either in MD/XD even with longer active period), or also Yu Yang than Zhang Nan. Lee Yong Dae is better in MD than Zhang Nan (the H2H is bad), but certainly lacking at XD even when he played for some time and with small success there. It is just he lacks in dominating any event to be called as the greatest
     
  7. The 'Fe' Man

    The 'Fe' Man Regular Member

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    That's what I was trying to say. My previous post might be slightly misleading.
     
  8. xiaoqiao

    xiaoqiao Regular Member

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    The thing with ZN is he is not so flashy; doesn't have the greatest speed, power, stamina etc. Just a very stable guy with very strong game reading skills, and this is underrated IMO.

    I define GOAT in doubles as best level of actual play, in men's and mixed doubles overall.

    Well first of all we can rule out Gao Ling and Zhao Yunlei as women will never play as well as men at the top. They might be the greatest ever for their gender, but certainly not better than Zhang Nan for greatest of all time.

    You say:
    Lee Yong Dae, Fu Hai Feng, Cai Yun, Jung Jae Sung, Park Joo-bong, Kim Dong-moon

    Park Joo-bong and Kim Dong-moon would be destroyed by current standards if they played at the level they did many years ago against top players in 2017. This is not to say if they were born 20 years later with the improved training he would still be inferior. But GOAT is defined as best play, not best hypothetical play.

    LYD has one mixed doubles title in 2008. Granted, he was world no 1 with 4 different partners and all that. He has 1 world title (and a million superseries titles), ZN has 6 world titles. LYD is the Lee chong wei of men's doubles; would you consider LCW to be better than LD?
    ZN is superior such that he is better at game reading than LYD and he is also better at regaining the attack IMO, whilst other aspects are near equal.

    Same story with Cai Yun. Cai had 5 titles at the age of 32, and this was paired with a very fit Fu Haifeng every time. In two titles, ZN had an old Fu Haifeng and Liu Cheng (who is clearly not one of the best). Again, ZN's only 27 and has 6. I would consider Cai Yun to be directly inferior to Hendra Setiawan, but HS did not have a good partner for most the time. Also, the play style 10 years ago would not be very effective now.

    JJS and Fu Haifeng (esp Fu) would be harder to dissect as they are backcourt players. JJS has no major titles and he had LYD, so I would not consider him one of the top. Fu is the one of the very few to hold 6 titles, has changed his style a lot over the years and adapted very well to the changes in doubles. Him being a backcourt player also makes it hard to compare to ZN as there are different skills. I would mention that when ZN was paired with Fu, most opponents were targeting Fu as the player to hit to.

    If there is someone that could match Zhang Nan, it would be Hendra Setiawan. I consider him the best MD player. That being said, he can't play mixed.
     
  9. stanleyfm

    stanleyfm Regular Member

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    you can't be called as the greatest if you keep losing (to one of your opponent) and that the opponent ends up being at the higher stage of the tournaments (indicated from the bwf ranking) even though you win more on the most important things. you certainly is not greater than your opponent in this case

    women can certainly play as well as or even better than men. That is even more obvious in XD since often the one who control the game and win/lose is the front person, that is the women
     
  10. xiaoqiao

    xiaoqiao Regular Member

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    Strongly disagree. Winning major titles are the best indicator on who is the best player, not ranking.

    By your logic, LCW had a higher ranking than LD for a longer period of time, and thus he should be considered better than LD?? Almost no one considers LCW a better player than LD.

    And no, a world no. 1 mixed double pair would be absolutely demolished by any men's doubles pair in the top 10. I know it's 2017 and apparently I'm being sexist by telling the truth, but come on let's face reality.
     
  11. LawrenceYONG

    LawrenceYONG Regular Member

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    zn still needs to achieve more dominance over his rivals and win one more oly goal to be considered the best of the best.
    china doubles is not so dominant as their singles.

    as it is, park joo bong is no.1 right now, followed closely by chandra wijaya.
     
  12. The 'Fe' Man

    The 'Fe' Man Regular Member

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    When I talk about Park Joo-bong and Kim Dong-moon, I mean the skills at their time. And I wouldn't say demolished. They played Lee/Yoo on some Korean show (I forgot the name) and the game was pretty close (18-21). The only reason why they lost is because during the last few points, Lee/Yoo changed their style and made them run a lot so yeah. They wouldn't be demolished. But I do have to agree that Fu and Jung are difficult to compare due to different styles. But Lee and Cai are definitely better front court players than Zhang (in MD). Both of them have better anticipation and their nets are (slightly?) better, especially Cai. Cai is probably one of, if not the strongest front court player of his time, has a small edge over Lee. I might have deviated here as I'm mainly focusing on MD now, not both MD and XD.
     
  13. Ukfbk

    Ukfbk New Member

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    Zhang Nan that we talking right now is different than before . He is someone who not with speed or heavy smash but he is someone that have genius shot , power game reading and also he being master and sharp at net court .

    I m still remember that Steen Pedersen rated ZN as the greatest DOUBLES player , slightly above Lee Yong Dae . For Steen , ZN and LYD are same , but later on he rated ZN and then LYD been second .

    Peoples always said than ZN achievement relied on ZYL and FHF . I dont agree because I dont think ZYL can success without ZN as her partner . ZN clearly the mest male player in xd . When i watch ZN match in md , he was the one who give more point than FHF . FHF during 2015-2016 too much error and not being prime anymore .

    Before this I dont have much confident ZN/LC partnership but after watch their perfomance at WBC , we should give credit to LC improvement . He improve a lot and I believe they can be the best in MD . And right now , I think ZN is the most sharp player at net court compare to other right now .

    As I see , Zhang Nan is the most hard working athlete . Say little but do more . Like ZYL said if other athlete train hard , you will see that ZN will train harder . Because he will do anything to achieve his dream . He push himself to the limit .

    Before this I m not his fan , because I m start to love ZYL first . But once you know about ZN , you will amaze about his diligent , hardworking and attitude .

    He is too underated by certain fans .. but obviously he very talented .
     
    Cheung, xiaoqiao and Justin L like this.
  14. LawrenceYONG

    LawrenceYONG Regular Member

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    additionally, zhang nan is different from those flashy players that hog the limelight like lyd.
     
  15. ownz.uno

    ownz.uno Regular Member

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    With his reading game capability and neutralize gameplay even Sukamoljo found it hard to play aganst Zhang Nan, watch Denmark Open.
     
  16. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Though I must say them winning that final was largely due to Marcus's shoulder injury. In that match, Kevin had to cover a lot at the back. Hence, less pressure to Liu Cheng hence he did surprisingly better than we ever saw him.

    But nevertheless, Zhang Nan was so in his game throughout Denmark Open. And his winning over Kevin in the final was even more outstanding. His reading and play making were amazing. That what the match should be if Liu Cheng could improve his game and more or less level Marcus in terms of not screwing up too much.

    Too bad we couldn't see that in the SSF final and to think that they were able to win over Boe/Mog and Kam/Son many times.

    But their biggest weakness right now is Zhang Nan being too busy with both disciplines and Liu Cheng's liability.

    Zhang Nan just dump XD!!!
     
  17. necrohiero

    necrohiero Regular Member

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    Hmm.. My concern is that, Zhang Nan is that kind of supportive front court player; maybe the best there is; probably also with Hendra. and LYD.

    The problem with these type of players; they need partner that can finish their supporting shots. Liu Cheng have strong smashes and quite athletic; but somehow.. he just too inconsistent..
     
  18. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Totally agree with you. I think he is the best supportive double player I have ever seen. Both in XD and MD.
    Well at least Hendra and especially LYD had better MD partners to be compared to Liu Cheng. Well almost in all doubles, it usually takes two to make a kill. But in this Liu/Zhang pair, mostly Liu kills it to the net or their own side of the court.

    It is unfortunate that FHF wasn't years younger. I really like their dynamic how they always actively fill the gap and cover each other all the time. With Liu's level Zhang Nan has to work much harder to cover anything. Doubled with what he has to cover in XD, who knows when his physical can let him carry on. As now, I can tell he isn't moving as well as a few years ago.

    I wonder if they will play in Asia Championships.
     
  19. necrohiero

    necrohiero Regular Member

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    COncern fo
    Concern for me; that Zhang Nan will find it too late to find a partner.
     
  20. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Well... I don't think Liu Cheng is really that bad, last year they have won the World Championship, won the Denmark Open, and finalist SSF. Not bad for a relatively new pair. But their biggest obstacles were Li/Liu and Gid/Suk.
    Not sure what plans the China team has for them but I do hope they won't put him in both disciplines for too long. He has 2 medals in Olympics and WC in XD, time to focus in MD for another medal.
     

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