Wang Yihan (born January 18, 1988 in Shanghai) is a retired professional female badminton player from China and former women's singles world champion. Wang started her career with her coach Wang Pengren at only nine years of age. She was selected for the junior team in 2004, and after being promoted to the senior team in 2006 she began to shine in major tournaments. By October 2009 she was the top ranked Women's singles player in the world. She is currently coached by Zhang Ning, twice Olympic Gold medallist.
She won girl's singles at both the Asian Junior and the World Junior Championships in 2006. In open international competition she captured the Badminton World Cup in 2006, and the Bitburger and Russian Opens in 2007. She caught everyone's attention when she won the Badminton world cup in 2006 as an 18-year-old beating her then teammate the "veteran" Zhang Ning on her way to the finals and Xie Xingfang in the finals . In September 2008 she defeated the Chinese-Hong Kong "veteran" Zhou Mi in the final of the Japan Open. The tourney is one of the Badminton World Federation's Super Series events which carry the highest level of prize money in the sport. In 2009 she won the Yonex German Open singles competition against fellow countrywoman Zhu Lin, and just one week later, at the age of 21, the prestigious All-England Championships against Denmark's Tine Rasmussen. Wang then went on to win the Wilson Swiss Open against compatriot Jiang Yanjiao (21–17, 17–21, 21–13). Wang won the Macau Opentime in August 2009 when she again beat Jiang Yanjiao (16–21, 22–20, 21–12). In September 2009, Wang won her second YONEX Open Japan title by beating Wang Xin (21–8, 21–9). Wang then won the French Super Series in November when she emphatically beat top seed, and defending champion, Wang Lin (21–9, 21–12). Wang won her second title in a row, and her 5th BWF Super Series tournament of the year, when she beat Jiang Yanjiao (21–13, 21–15) in the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open. This was also her 7th title overall in 2009. Wang is still the most successful women's singles badminton player in winning titles. To date, Wang has won thirty singles titles, including four Super Series Premier titles, fifteen Super Series titles, and one Super Series Finals title.
Wang is an only child. Wang credited her Mother for her badminton journey. Wang's mother used to play badminton with her just outside their home, seeing her as an energetic child, Wang's parents decided to send her to a badminton academy which eventually led to Wang's successful career. Prior to badminton, she was also recommended by her teachers to play volleyball due to her height. Wang is a native Shanghainese and speaks fluent Shanghainese.
When asked about her relationship status, Wang stated that she is single and is currently focusing on her career. Wang is good friends with teammates such as Li Xuerui, Tian Qing, Fu Haifeng, Lin Dan and so on.