What is the difference between LD and LCW? They are both two of the greatest players badminton has seen, with LD likely the greatest player ever in badminton. So let's compare LD to LCW (however, please refrain from trolling such as LD has more walkovers than LCW, etc): Mentality: - LD gets the win here. LD is much more mentally stronger than LCW. Two examples of LCW's weak mentality are the 2008 Olympics and 2012 Thomas Cup. The 2010 Thomas Cup match was particularly embarassing for LCW as he was tooled by LD in front of his homecrowd in Malaysia. It's very unlikely that LD would allow LCW to do that if the two played in a Thomas Cup hosted in China. Deception: - LCW is one of the best deceptive players but LD wins here. I can't count the number of times LD has fooled LCW but it's much more rare for LCW to fool LD. Smash: - LD also wins here. Maybe somebody has measured their smash power when they play against each other because this would be more objective. When LD wants to smash though, he seems to smash harder than LCW. This is not surprising though because LD is bigger and more muscular than LCW - just compare LD's arms to LCW's arms. Net play: - LD is probably the best singles net player in the world. This is an area where LCW should have caught up to LD. I can't count the number of major matches LCW has lost to LD because of LD's superior net shot. At the WC last year, when LCW was on match point in the 3rd set, LD pulled a super tight net shot that caused LCW to lift poorly, and LD got an easy smash to save the match. At this year's Olympics, again on match point but this time for LD, LCW hit a high lob out because of a tight tumbling net shot from LD. If LCW was better at the net than LD, maybe it would be LCW with a gold medal and a WC instead of LD. Anticipation: - LD also wins here. It's rare for LCW to match LD's anticipation but conversely, LD has shown his superior anticipation in various matches against LCW. The most obvious was the 2008 Olympic final and the 2010 Thomas Cup match between the two, where LD managed to obtain multiple net kills against LCW because LD anticipated LCW's net shot. Interestingly, LCW seemed to have better anticipation than LD at the 2012 Olympic final and that's one of the reasons why the match was alot closer than the 2008 Olympic final. Footwork: - So if LD is superior in all the departments above, then where is LCW better than LD? LCW has to be better than LD at something in order for LCW to have beaten LD in the past. Thus, IMO, I think LCW has better footwork than LD. If you observe carefully, It seems like LCW can get to more difficult shots than LD, even when LD pulls off a deceptive shot against LCW. In fact, I think LCW's footwork is his greatest strength and LCW may have the best footwork in the world with LD second. Defense: - For me, this is split down the middle. To analyze this, let's split it into body defense and sideline defense. IMO, LCW has better sideline defense while LD has better body defense. Because of LCW's better footwork, he is able to return smashes down the sideline better than LD. However, LD probably has the best body defense in the world. I can't count the number of times that a direct smash at LD's body is returned during crucial matches. However, LCW has lost some critical points in major matches when LD has smashed at LCW's body. Maybe this is the power of LD's smash? I don't know. But if LD does have body defense, it would be consistent with his superior drive shot (as analyzed below) and his superior anticipation. Drive shots: - LD also wins here. When put into a situation where both players have to drive, LD is also better than LCW. This may also be related to LD's superior anticipation. If you watch the major matches between LD and LCW, when both start driving the shuttle at each other, LD usually comes out on top. Stamina/fitness: - LD clearly wins here. If the match goes to a 3rd set, LD is able to pick up his game compared to LCW. LD simply has more stamina than LCW. Feel free to add other points of comparison between LD and LCW!