Ding was born Daqing, Heilongjiang, China in 1990 and is a left handed, shake hand grip player.
Here are some snippets we have discovered about her after some research:
1. Ding Ning, like Ma Long has 2 nicknames, ‘The Queen Of Hearts’ and ‘Big Baby’
2. She reached #31 in the Women’s World’s Rankings when only 15 and became the #1 player on the planet in 2011, a position she held for nearly 2 years! She has been ranked # 1 for 3 different periods and is currently #6 in the world
3. Big Baby’ is a 3 time World Singles Champion, 2011, 2015, and 2017, a one time Olympic Singles Champion in 2016, and a 2 time Olympic Team Champion, 2012 and 2016.
4. In her first Olympic Final against Li Xiaoxia in 2012, Ding was deducted 3 penalty points in the 4th set by the Italian Umpire for what she deemed to be an illegal B/H Tomahawk Serve! Ding had used this serve throughout the whole tournament without any problems and found the whole incident so overwhelming she broke down in tears! This made winning in Rio 2016 even more special!
5. ‘The Queen Of Hearts’ had another controversial match against Liu Shiwen in the Semi Finals of the World’s in 2015 in Suzhou, China. Ding was 2/0 down in the final set when she went over her ankle and was given a 10 minute injury time out, she came back to the table and went on to win the set 11/8 and hence the title. Many Shiwen fans accused Ding of gamesmanship and Shiwen openly admitted the they were rivals, not friends! Shiwen even nilled Ding in the Semi’s of the World’s in Budapest in 2019, a very rare outcome between teammates!!
6. Ning once became a Social Media sensation when she forgot to put her shorts on for her first round match in the World Championships in Budapest!! The world # 1 at the time was in the warm up against Egypt’s Yousra Helmi wearing just her red shirt and skin tight undershorts when she suddenly realised her lack of clothing! She quickly left the arena and returned wearing her regular shorts! She did see the funny side of it during many interviews afterwards!
7. Ding took up the game at 5 years old, studied Sports Journalism at the University of Shanghai and is coached by Shi Zhihao. She uses an EBENHOLZ NCT BLADE, NEO HURRICANE 3 ON F/H. TENERGY 05 ON B/H
8. Dings parents were both top athletes, her Mum was a basketball player and her Dad a speed skater!! In fact Ning says her Mother is her biggest inspiration and actually thinks she would have given up playing as a child if it wasn’t for her motivation, drive and support!
Ding Ning is a true legend of Table Tennis. She was distraught after the 2012 Olympics and nearly quit the Sport but came back stronger helped by support from her coaches and family.
She is tough on the table but off it is incredible extrovert and hugely likeable , it is not hard to understand why she is one of the most popular players in world Table Tennis.
Please check out some of her matches and best points on YouTube