6 Best Tennis Ball Machines (Reviews and Comparison)

You don’t need to pay a tennis coach to feed you every time you practice. A good ball machine can help you practice without a coach or a partner, and help you improve your game. With a ball machine, you don’t need to sync your schedule with anyone else to practice.

Even a simple tennis ball machine can feed you a variety of balls consistently.  I recommend the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine to take your game to the next level. It has customizable drills and comes with a phone app to make your practice painless.

Best Tennis Ball Machines

Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine – BEST OVERALL

Unlike most other ball machines that are made of plastic, the Spinshot-Player is made with steel. It weighs about 42 lbs and will easily fit in the trunk of your car. 

This 120-ball capacity machine comes with 12 drills pre-programmed but you can also set up personalized drills and save them. You can adjust the height, direction, spin, and speed with vertical and horizontal oscillation to suit your practice needs. You can use the free Drillmaker app for control and programming. The machine can also be controlled via the front panel.

Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine can feed you balls with topspin or backspin. It uses a patented De-Jam design to prevent balls from jamming the machine. It can feed a ball every 2 to 10 seconds. If you are a 4.5 player or higher, you may find that even the max speed is too low.

Note that the machine does not come with a manual but you can download it from the Spinshot website.

Specifications
Size: 18″x12″x20″
Capacity – 120 balls
Weight: 42 lbs
Custom Drills:  12 pre-set drills, and up to 6 shots per drill
Oscillation – 5 Oscillation modes, controlled from the front panel
Phone app – iPhone and Android
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 2-3 hours

Pros
Well-built ball machine
Handles a variety of drills by varying height, direction, spin, and speed 

Cons
Advanced players may find the speed too low
App is average

Tutor Prolite Tennis Ball Machine Best Budget Ball Machine

Tutor Prolite Tennis Ball Machine doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the expensive ball machines in the market have but is an excellent choice for those on a budget. It weighs about 29 lbs and is made of rugged injected molded plastic. 

The machine can feed balls at 1.5 to 10 seconds at 10 to 60 miles per hour. It holds 125 balls and the built-in battery provides 3 hours of playing time. The machine has horizontal oscillation and elevation can be adjusted manually. 

Given its price point, this machine does not have the option to program your drills. It also doesn’t have topspin or backspin adjustment. But despite these drawbacks, it will work well for most tennis players.

Specifications
Size: 12″ x 19.5″ x 18″
Capacity: 125 balls
Weight: 29 lbs
Oscillation: Horizontal oscillation, manual elevation adjustment
Speed: 10-60 mph
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 2-3 hours

Pros
Excellent price points
Great for beginner to intermediate players
3-yr warranty

Cons
Cannot program drills
No topspin or backspin 

Spinshot Plus Tennis Ball Machine – Best Ball Machine For Intermediate Players

Consider the Spinshot Plus ball machine a slightly scaled-down version of the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine. The Spinshot Plus provides randomized horizontal and vertical oscillations with topspin and backspin. So you will be able to practice a variety of shots to improve your game.

Maximum speed is about 75 MPH and balls are fed at 2 to 10-second intervals. The robust metal design makes it easy to transport and the green machine will shine on the court. 

The settings can be changed in the front panel or using the phone app. It doesn’t have the ability to customize the drills like Spinshot-player.

Specifications
Size: 18″x12″x20″
Capacity – 120 balls
Weight: 42 lbs
Custom Drills:  No 
Oscillation – 5 Oscillation modes
Phone app – iPhone and Android
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 2-3 hours

Pros
Well-built ball machine
Works great for all skill levels
Handles a variety of drills by varying height, direction, spin, and speed 

Cons
No customized drills
Speed too low for some players
App is average

Match Mate Rookie – Best Ball Machine For  Juniors

Match Mate Rookie is geared towards junior players. It is lightweight (weighs only 22 lbs) and its battery lasts 5 hours, which is ideal for an extended practice session.

This machine can feed balls at 18 to 30 MPH with some spin. Given its price point, it doesn’t have the ability to adjust oscillation or program custom drills. Still, it’s a great machine for young players to work on their game until they are ready to move up to a more versatile machine.

Specifications
Size: 11″x22″x11″
Capacity – 30 balls
Weight: 22 lbs
Custom Drills:  No
Oscillation – No
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 5 hours

Pros
Great ball machine for kids and juniors
Lightweight, easy to carry
5-hour battery life

Cons
Cannot program drills, no oscillation
May need to upgrade as kids improve their game

Wilson Portable Tennis Machine

Wilson is one of the most recognizable names in tennis. The company makes tennis racquets, tennis balls, and other accessories. 

Wilson Portable Tennis Machine has large wheels and a handle, which allows for easy transport to the court. This ball machine has a 110-ball capacity and can feed balls at 1.5 to 10 seconds. The maximum speed is 75 MPH. This machine provides 4 hours of battery, so it’s ideal for longer practice sessions.

These ball machines come with 4 backspin and topspin options. The ball trajectory can be adjusted from a groundstroke to a lob. This is a great ball machine for intermediate tennis players.

Specifications
Size: 22″x14″x20″
Capacity -110 balls
Weight: 38 lbs
Custom Drills:  No
Oscillation – Random
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 3-4 hours

Pros
Flat shot + 4 topspin + 4 backspin options
Random oscillation

Cons
No customized drills
Extra cost to buy remote and 2-line oscillation (alternating forehand or backhand)

iSAM Extend Tennis Ball Machine Long Battery Life

iSAM Extend Tennis Ball Machine is reasonably priced and offers good but limited features. But there are some areas where this machine outshines its expensive competitors – its battery provides 5 to 7 hours of run time and the machine holds 300 balls, twice as much as most other ball machines.

This ball machine allows you to control ball speed, delivery times and shot selection from groundstrokes to lobs but there is no topspin option. Note that this ball machine does not come with wheels and weighs 39 lbs. It can be very bulky to carry to the court.

Specifications
Size: 19″x17.5″x18″
Capacity: 300 balls
Weight: 39 lbs
Custom Drills:  No
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 5-7 hours

Pros

Budget-friendly
300-ball capacity
5-7 hour battery

Cons
Limited features
Bulky, no wheels

How to choose the best ball machine for you?

Skill level

Beginner tennis players just need a basic ball machine that can feed them balls to hit. Balls speeds and spin variations are not that important. Pick up a ball machine that can hold a large number of balls and has long battery life.

Intermediate tennis players need ball machines that can feed them challenging balls on the court. They need a machine that can feed topspin and backspin balls consistently to improve their game.

Advanced tennis players need a top-of-the-line ball machine to improve their game. Compare the cost of the machines to the cost of hiring a qualified personal coach. A good ball machine will pay you back quickly while giving you the flexibility to practice whenever you want.

Your Budget

Tennis ball machines range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Pick one that fits your budget and gives you the features you need. Remember that when you buy a machine, you won’t need to hire a coach to feed you balls every time you hit the courts for practice. Get a calculator and find out how quickly the machine pays for itself.

One way to save some money is to buy a used ball machine that is in good condition. Or you can share the cost of the machine with your friends.

Portability

Ball machines can vary in weight between 20 lbs and 40 lbs. Are you comfortable carrying around a bulky machine to save some money? Or do you need a ball machine that has a wheel and a handle that you can roll to the court. Ensure that whichever option you choose that the ball machine can easily fit in the trunk of your vehicle. 

Speed, Spin, and Height

While a junior player may be happy with a 30MPH speed, advanced players need 65-70 MPH balls to practice to improve their game. Intermediate to advanced players may also need topspin and backspin to simulate match play. 

Tennis players know that balls come to you at various heights and it is important to find a ball machine that has height controls.  Intermediate to advanced players will ball machines that feed balls at the same height are boring and not a good use of their practice time.

Phone Apps or Remote

Getting a  ball machine with a remote or a phone app is a no-brainer if cost is not a barrier. Being able to remotely control the ball machine remotely means that you are not moving from one side of the court to the other. 

Battery

Consider your longest practice sessions and check how they compare to the battery life of the machine. Most machines can easily accommodate 2-3 hours of practice. In most cases, you can also purchase an extra battery for an additional cost.

Warranty

A ball machine is an investment that should pay off for a long time. But it is also a machine with a lot of mechanical parts and electronics.  Get a ball machine with a good warranty from a manufacturer that will stand behind its products in case something goes wrong. 

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Aryna Sabalenka Dumps Doubles Partner Elise Mertens, To Focus On Singles

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Top-ranked women’s doubles pair, Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens are calling it quits. At the 2021 Australian open, Sabalenka and Mertens won their second doubles grand slam together. But Sabalenka plans to focus more on singles and reduce her doubles workload.

It’s her decision.  I really respect that. Doubles takes some energy away, that’s true. On the other hand, for me, I just like to play matches.  If she still likes to play doubles, I’m here!

-Elise Mertens

Doubles teams typically commit to playing together in December for the next year. It’s surprising that Sabalenka decided to leave Mertens hanging in the middle of the season. 

Sabalenka and Mertens are known for their signature jump in the air with their winning trophy. The pair may still team together for doubles even as Sabalenka prioritizes her singles.

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