When you shop for tennis balls, you will notice that there are several types of tennis balls. First, there are many brands such as Penn, Wilson, Babolat, or Dunlop. Second, you will notice that there are regular-duty balls and extra-duty balls. Shopping for balls can be very confusing.
Our detailed guide will help you pick the right ball for your type of court and skill level.
Best Tennis Balls
You can’t go wrong with the Wilson US Open tennis balls. They are used at the US Open and approved by the ITF and USTA for tennis competitions.
Wilson US Open balls feature excellent felt material, offer consistent bounce and, maintain pressure for weeks after you open the can. These balls have a couple of versions – regular, extra duty, and high altitude. For hard courts, choose the extra duty balls for durability.
Comes in regular duty, extra duty, and high altitude
Excellent felt material
Balls wear out after a couple of hours of play
Penn Championship tennis balls are a great value for the money. They do come with come tradeoffs – they don’t as long as the Wilson US Open tennis balls after you open the can. But if you are looking for good tennis balls to play for a couple of hours, these balls work great.
Penn Championship balls come in regular duty and extra duty. If you playing on hard courts, pick up the extra duty balls. For clay, pick up the regular duty balls. It is the official ball of the USTA league and is approved by the ITF.
Comes in regular duty and extra duty
Don’t last long after you open the can
Tecnifibre X-one balls are not as popular as Wilson, Penn, or Dunlop balls. But Tecnifibre X-One Ball delivers excellent performance – it will last longer than any other ball on the market.
The balls are made with 72% real felt, which improves the ball’s durability. The balls fluff up a little, which is not bad as it allows you to apply more spin. Note that these balls are expensive and are usually priced twice as much as usual tennis balls.
Best ball on the market
Not available widely
Pro Penn Marathon balls feature Encore technology for improved visibility and LongPlay felt for durability. These balls will last for a long time for advanced players who hit the ball hard.
The ball is approved by USTA and ITF for league play. These balls offer even bounce and maintain their fuzz longer than other balls.
Maintains pressure for a long time
As the name suggests, these balls are used at Wimbledon. In fact, Slazenger balls have been used at Wimbledon champions for more than 100 years. These balls are not just for grass, they can be used for clay and hard courts as well.
Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls delivers consistent performance and improved visibility. These balls tend to fluff up on hard courts and get slower over time but will help you play longer points.
Official ball at Wimbledon
Great ball for intermediate and advanced players
Wilson Triniti balls are unique in many ways. First, they come in an eco-friendly cardboard box and not in a can like typical tennis balls. These balls last longer and feel great on contact.
This ball features a new core, named Engage, and is made of plastomer. This keeps the ball fresh much longer than other tennis balls (Wilson claims 4x longer). If you are frustrated with buying new cans of balls every week, Wilson Triniti is the ball for you.
Balls stay fresh longer
Expensive compared to other tennis balls
Pressurized Vs Pressureless Balls
Most tennis balls you see on the court are pressurized. These balls lose pressure and don’t bounce as much over time. So you have to replace them often. On the other hand, pressureless balls don’t lose pressure. The only time you have to replace them is if the felt on the balls wears out (which takes a very long time).
Pressureless balls are used in ball machines. They are also used by amateur players. If you need pressureless balls, you can buy them in bulk since they are cheaper.
How to choose the best tennis ball for you?
Type of court
If you play on hard courts, choose extra duty balls. For clay and grass courts, choose regular duty balls.
Altitude of your location
If you are playing at high altitude (much higher than mean sea level), choose high-altitude balls.
If you are a beginner, you will be fine with cheaper quality balls.
Advanced players need balls that offer consistent bounce and last a while. Consider the Wilson US Open balls or Pro Penn Marathon.
What’s your budget? If you can afford it, get the Tecnifibre balls because they are high-quality balls. If you are budget conscious, choose cheaper balls such as the Penn Championship balls. Remember that cheap balls don’t last as long.
Why do tennis balls have numbers?
Have you noticed that tennis balls have numbers such as 1, 2, 3 on them? The balls are numbered so that they can be easily identified if they go to the next court, and you have to get them back.
Most balls are numbered but not all. For example, Tecnifibre balls do not have numbers but Tecnifibre balls are not as popular as Wilson or Penn. Once they get popular, I am sure Tecnifibre will add numbers like the other ball makers.
Tennis balls for kids
There are a few kinds of tennis balls made for kids. These balls don’t bounce as much as regular tennis and are sometimes bigger in size.
- Red ball – for kids 8 years and under, larger size, low compression, 75% slower than a regular tennis ball
- Orange ball – for kids 9-10 years, low compression, 50% slower than a regular tennis ball
- Yellow ball with a green dot – for ages 11+, 50% slower than a regular tennis ball
Tennis Balls To Avoid
Avoid store-brand tennis balls. These balls may be cheap but they are of poor quality and don’t last very long.
Don’t buy balls from stores that don’t sell a lot of tennis balls. Tennis balls sit on the shelves at these stores for months and tend to lose pressure.