A tennis ball is a vital equipment for tennis along with the racquet. It’s really important to choose the right and the best tennis ball for your game from a pool of balls. It depends upon many factors.
Whether it’s color, bounce, sound, or temperature, every factor has its role. In professional tournaments, it becomes more crucial, as there are minor margins in court that put a player in the advantage.
Your game performance is directly linked with your choice. Either you want to be a pro player from a beginner or want to impress friends then the right equipment(Ball & Racquet) is inevitable. You may don’t know but it’s not an expensive accessory of game.
Normally balls are supplied in cans and are not so expensive. Most likely it’ll cost you around $5 – $20 per can.
So, lets discuss what you need to know for choosing a tennis ball.
If you are in hurry then here is a quick look of the article.
- Our Recommendations
- Our Top Tennis Ball Picks for Beginners
- Best Professional Tennis Balls
- Best Overall Tennis Balls – For All Court Types/Surfaces
- Best Tennis Ball for Intermediate Players
- Best Tennis Balls for High Altitude
- Best Tennis Balls For Clay Court
- Best Hard Court Tennis Balls
- Best Tennis Balls For Grass Courts
- Best Pressureless Tennis Ball for Ball Machines
- Used Tennis Balls
- How to Choose the Best Tennis Ball
Our Top Tennis Ball Picks for Beginners
As we have discussed above that pressure-less tennis balls are used for beginner/practice/training of players. Many brands are offering these balls. We have picked up some top-quality balls for you.
Penn has succeeded in producing quality tennis ball products for its customers. For practice, Penn has manufactured a long-lasting ball for players. A large basket containing 48 balls is a good deal. If you are on a budget then it has another option of a bag containing 12 balls.
Balls are manufactured from excellent felt quality which makes it durable and long-lasting. These balls are packed in a strong and reusable basket which is very convenient for carrying balls. Penn claims these balls will give new feel as long as you play with it. The majority of people who used this ball found it much better than others.
Bulk quantity is always good for the practitioners as they don’t have to buy again and again and the game won’t stop due to balls shortage.
As the name and proverb suggest that “Practice makes a man perfect”. In the same spirit, this ball has been introduced by Penn. If you want quality in a low budget then you can trust this coach practice ball. It Is USTA approved tennis ball, performs well on all soft and hard courts that is why it has an edge over its rivals.
You might be wondering then about the difference with Penn Championship ball. According to the Penn it is not for professional play and players as it has cosmetic defects and works well for non-competitive play.
Keeping in the view it is safely intuited that it is the best beginner tennis ball from every aspect.
As mentioned before that pressure-less balls almost never got dead, which makes them suitable for human and machine practice keeping the bounce the same due to good quality felt. Tourna also claims that ball will not get flat or lose bounce in its life span, unlikely regular tennis ball which will go flat after some time with or without play.
Tourna balls’ performance keeps your play consistent. These premium balls have excellent quality felt to maintain longevity, durability and keep it wear-free. These balls are made from non-toxic material, which means it’s good & safe for your dog to play with.
If you are going to start tennis and looking for a tennis ball then Tourna balls are the best choice for you for training or even for recreational players as well.
In the line of quality tennis balls, Gamma has produced a bucket full of balls. Like other balls it is also durable, resistant, and adaptive for all types of surfaces, whether it is Hard court, Clay court (soft), or Grass court. Regardless of surfaces Gamma balls can provide you long hours of practice or training.
Reusable & strong ball bucket is really helpful for carrying 40/48 balls form tennis court to home or opposite. For beginners, it is a very reasonable and no-regrets choice.
If you are a professional player and Grass court is your favorite then you can practice with Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls. It is one of the best tennis ball on earth for grass courts.
Best Professional Tennis Balls
This regular duty ball is perfect for professional play, clay and grass court, or indoor courts. As many tennis viewers might know, Wilson has been the official ball of the US Open since 1978, quite a long time. It proves its capability and acceptability for professional tennis games.
Wilson describes, this ball is manufactured premium woven felt from Tex-Tech to provide durable, consistent, and superior playability for professional players. The ITF and USTA approved ball is all good to play on indoor and outdoor courts.
Wilson is also producing balls for specific conditions in US Open series such as extra duty for hard courts, high altitude for high elevated areas.
Penn’s Pro Marathon is the longest lasting ball manufactured with encore technology and premium quality LongPlay felt. These balls are as hard as a rock and could take some time for adjustment.
Although it is a hard ball but it won’t hurt shoulder after adjustment has been done. If you are playing on a hard court then this ball is beauty for you.
Optik Smart Technology has been used for this ball to enhance the visibility of ball which does not fall in cheating.
The USPTA approved ball was tested for longer survival during doubles practice. It was hited hard by four players for many hours during a week and felt retained for a month. Apart from professional play it is also good for recreational players who want good bounce and durability.
The ITF approved ball and as the name suggests that it is the official tennis ball of Wimbledon, an esteemed grand slam tennis tournament since 1902. It has amazing bouncing and visibility features. While playing, it’s just not visible to players but spectators as well.
Different technologies have improved its performance and made it consistent for the Wimbledon tournament. The Tour Cour provides premium woven cloth, specially crafted for this tournament gives tighter weave to attain response and durability.
Ultra Vis technology has been used to improve visibility on grass court for players and the spectators as well.
Hydroguard a Slazenger’s patent technology, created a special cloth that repels up to 70% water as compared to the standard ball. This feature has made this ball more consistent and reliable for the grand slam.
The official tennis ball for the ATP World Tour and season-ending ATP NextGen Finals and Nitto ATP Finals. The choice of professional tournaments made this ball the choice of professional players around the globe.
This premium ball features HD Pro core and specially designed extra duty felt for the ultimate consistent performance and durability. It is crafted especially for Hard courts so Hard Court players would love this ball and its performance during long matches and tough sets.
The Dunlop has created other versions of this ball for different conditions like high-altitude ball in the same series.
Best Overall Tennis Balls – For All Court Types/Surfaces
As the name suggests it is the official tennis ball for the US Open Grand Slam tournament, a hard court tennis tournament. Wilson doesn’t stop here as it also holds the honor of Australian Open, US Open, Davis Cup and the Fed Cup official ball provider.
There are certain reasons behind this honor of this ball. Simply, it can be referred to as the toughest ball in the world. Wilson’s has used exclusive Tex Tech Industries felt, which is crafted with premium woven into thicker and denser felt, causing durability with consistency.
Extra duty version provides premium quality performance on hard and abrasive courts. It also performs awesome and could be the best for the tennis ball machine as well.
The felt crafted especially for these courts provides excellent swing and generates consistently accurate shots on the court.
Penn claims that Penn Tour Tennis Balls are used in 4/5 biggest tournaments in North America. As represented in the name, this is the official ball of world tours. It is the choice of professional players around the world.
Penn ATP ball gives precise bounce as it is made from tournament-grade felt and technical grade rubber core. The natural rubber construction gives consistent feel and low shocks. The Smart Optic felt on outside has also been used which is 19% brighter than other regular felt for crafting this ball.
The bright felt helps to increase accuracy due to better ball visibility. Which gives a player enough time to get ready for giving tough time to an opponent with favorite hits. When playing on hard and abrasive courts this extra duty feels more durable, which is a plus point.
Luckily, this high-quality technical grade material and carefully crafted felt is not much pricey. It puts this ball at the top-choice of professionals and tournaments. Despite amazing features and quality this ball has a low cost.
The ITF approved ball is not just out of the list of quality tennis balls. It is worth considering as an affordable option for low budget players. Babolat championship is ready to help you to improve your game that other expensive balls maybe can’t.
It offers good bounce and spin with good build quality felt for beginners players to experience one. These balls aren’t deformed and don’t wear quickly, but rather maintain shape and provide a good playability.
Babolat offers good prices against this ball and long time performance for players.
Wilson has designed this ball for traditional performance and long term performance on all courts. DuraWeave felt has been used for quality play and additional performance. Don’t forget that It is the official ball for two grand slam tournaments i.e. US Open and Australian Open and NCAA tennis for men & women.
These premium quality balls have been manufactured for competitive play and for practice or training sessions as well. It makes it a top priority for majority of tennis players. A single can contains 3 balls and you can purchase it in bulk quantity up to 24 cans.
Best Tennis Ball for Intermediate Players
Dunlop is one of the giant brand in the tennis world producing quality tennis equipment. Championship ball is one of the best ball not only for intermediate players but for recreational players as well. This ball has been approved by ITF & USTA tournaments, being sold in 3-balls can.
In this Hard court ball Duracell technology has been used to manufacture this ball, which provides maximum durability against the abrasive nature of the court. In some tennis leagues this ball is used.
Many tennis players who were using other balls like Penn & Wilson are preferring to this ball for a good experience. It’ll give you a little fast serve and seam on balls creates more spin and better bounce.
Willson is the official tennis ball of the US Open & Australian Open and more than 45% of professional tennis tournaments use Wilson’s balls. Apart from majors other international tournaments like Davis Cup and Fed Cup also use this brand.
This regular duty ball is ideal for outdoor(clay) courts and indoor courts. The USA made ball stays longer on the court as it has a special Dura-Weave felt, which helps it to perform longer with minimum wear.
ITF and USTA approved ball is ideal for both intermediate, recreational players and for high school players.
Penn is one of pioneer brands of tennis, present in the market since the last 100+ years. It has produced a range of quality tennis balls. These balls are No. 1 selling balls in the USA, claimed by Penn.
Championship balls have natural rubber construction which minimizes the shocks to arms while hitting hard. The deep elastic seams keep the ball safe from cracks. For longer play it uses interlocked wool fiber which saves it from wears. Further it features a controlled fiber release for consistent nap.
It is an ITF and USTA approved ball and the USTA league’s official ball. Penn is producing these balls in extra-duties, high altitude, pink extra duty as categories. Pink balls are floated in the market for donations. For each ball sold, Penn will donate $.15 for breast cancer research.
Best Tennis Balls for High Altitude
ITF considers courts that are located up to or above 4000 feet as high altitude. On such alleviation normal balls won’t work, so special balls are created for these courts. These balls perform well and give standard playability.
Due to optimal performance, high durability, and consistency for the last 25 years Wilson’s US Open regular duty is the official ball of the US open. As it is also approved by ITF and USTA for professional competitive play.
High altitude ball is crafted from premium woven Tex Tech industries felt which offers good bounce, superior playability along with longevity. Remember the high altitude balls perform best at 3500 ft or above for both indoor and outdoor courts, as claimed by Wilson.
The Wilson US Open ball is also available in other types like regular duty ball for clay or indoor courts, or white felt for grass court surfaces apart from extra duty.
It is Penn’s Championship series high altitude tennis ball and it is very popular that it becomes Amazon’s choice. This championship ball maintains such a consistent feel, playability, and standards in such a way, that other tennis balls are measures by its standards, Penn claims.
High altitude pressurized extra duty ball is perfect for Hard Courts situated more or equal to 4000 feet. Its special features like controlled fiber release, natural rubber,interl-locked wool fiber provides reduced shocks, unparalleled performance, and ultimate durability. It became so popular to be Amazon’s Choice worldwide.
From 1 can to 12 cans packing is available and each can contains 3 super quality tennis balls.
Best Tennis Balls For Clay Court
As tennis lovers know that Rolland Garros (French Open) is the only Clay court’s Grand Slam tournament, scheduled at Paris, France every year. Balls are made especially for Clay court to deliver the best performance.
Why there is a Need for Special Clay Court Ball?
Regular duty balls are used for clay court along with Hard court balls as well, but it is recommended that always use special-purpose ball as they exist. These special balls are designed with higher wool quantity and have a shorter nap with felt.
The purpose-built balls don’t fluff-up early and much, which allows a ball to play faster, with good spin even it becomes caked up with the clay. When the ball fluffs up it’ll get more clay and moisture which slows it down and the ball looks aging.
It has been the official ball for the Roland Garros tournament since 2011, but not anymore. From next 2020 edition Wilson is the new official ball for French Open.
This ball keeps bounce even after long hours of play, and it stays mostly fresh for most of the gameplay. It looks old after a few hours in court after few hours but performance remains up to the mark.
It is an all-court ball, means it can be used on all type of courts/surfaces. It is available in a tube of 3 balls and 24 cans per case.
Another wonderful ball form Wilson designed especially for clay courts. It is the official ball of Roland Garros. It delivers high performance on clay with the help of its material and technology.
The felt used for this ball reduces dirt pick-up and moisture to provide consistent performance, and durability on clay court. Its natural rubber core is designed to deliver longer rallies, max consistency, and resilience.
ITF approved ball is delivered in cans containing 3 balls each.
Best Hard Court Tennis Balls
Normally extra duty balls are used to play on hard courts as these balls contain thicker felt which saves them from wear.
Many Balls are reviewed here for hard courts. For Professional play Penn Pro Marathon Extra Duty or Wilson US Open Extra Duty is best. If you want to have training from coach Penn Coach Practice is the best deal.
Best Tennis Balls For Grass Courts
Grass court is a somewhat different court for players and games. It’s soft and outdoor court and mostly uncovered. Some best balls for grass-court are Dunlop Championship Ball, Slazenger Tennis Ball for professional or competitive paly.
If you are a beginner and want to practice or get trained then go for Penn Coach Practice and for recreational game choose any ball from the All-Courts category.
Best Pressureless Tennis Ball for Ball Machines
You might wonder why to use pressureless balls with a tennis ball machine?
The answer is simple, it is referred to as forever ball. It does not have any pressure or compressed air inside. It bounces due to the thicker & harder core rubber material.
It stays longer, durable than any other pressurized ball.
You don’t have to worry about leaving them in machine as pressureless balls don’t need to put back in the airtight container.
It’ll improve your response rate as compared to standard pressurized ball.
These balls are cost effective and easy to replace with passage of time.
When you Should not use Pressureless tennis?
While it won’t give you the exact performance as experienced in a match with a pressurized ball, but for practice, it is recommended. It will save you a lot of money and resources.
Many players avoid using them in a competitive match as it requires more force to hit stiffed and harder ball and can cause injury.
While practicing you should not use these balls excessively, it may lead to injury.
Gamma Bucket of Pressureless Tennis Balls
It is bucket of reusable tennis ball which is easy to carry and use as compared to mesh bag which is not so durable. It won’t loose pressure and will sustain longer in your practice session and give you consisten performance.
A lot of trainers, teaching professionals, and coaches use these balls to train their players with and/or without tennis ball machines. It’ll help a player to boost his performance from beginner to intermediate, and expert tennis player.
It’ll provide consistent performance on all types of tennis courts.
Tourna Pressureless Tennis Ball
The Tourns is providing quality tennis products along with balls for a long time. Extra felt on the ball makes it more durable as compared to other pressureless tennis balls.
Tourna balls gives regular size and regular height bounce, as some balls are smaller than standards. Bag contain 60 balls, a handsome quantity of balls to practice with b all machine or to play with your dog or pet.
A lot of people sell and buy used tennis balls on Amazon. Yes! You read it right. It might be a surprise for you. These balls are cheap and available in bulk quantity, used for sports and non-sports activities. Sports activities include tennis, cricket, Pyramid Run, Stuffed, Contact, etc. Tennis players having a low budget tend to buy these balls for practice in bulk quantities.
Non-sports activities include ball for classroom chairs, dogs, Comfy chairs, Decorations and crafts, floor scrub and protection friction-resistant etc.
As many people love to play with their dogs with tennis balls, and dogs chew these balls frequently so they would prefer used balls for them as it is a reasonable option for them.
How to Choose the Best Tennis Ball
Primary factors to consider while choosing the best tennis ball
Pressure-less Vs Pressurized Ball
When choosing a ball the primary factor is whether it’s pressurized or pressure-less. Both of them have their own advantages. Basically pressure will determine how a ball will behave on court.
Pressureless Ball means low bounce, more weight that means more force to hit the ball. It can cause injury to your arm i.e. tennis elbow. If someone is suffering from this injury then, it’s recommended that use a pressurized ball instead.
Pressureless ball bounce due to rubber structure rather than inside air. In fact, it becomes more bouncy as it wears down and the game goes on.
Beginners can use pressure-less ball for practice/training sessions or for recreational play. It’ll cost less and no need to replace dead balls over and over again.
If pressureless and pressurized balls are mixed then it is plus, as one has to play with a pressurized ball in tournaments.
Pressurized Ball or regular ball on the other hand has more bounce and needs low force to hit, as it contains pressurized air inside, which causes spin, speed, and more bounce. It’s easily available in the market and usually packed in cans.
Pressurized tennis ball lives shorter. It loses pressure as it wears down in the game. It’s perfect for professional and intermediate players. Depending upon court type, game duration, and playing style this ball can survive longer or shorter.
Mostly pressurized balls can survive for 2-3 weeks and some low quality will last for only a single match, depending on quality.
Regular Duty & Extra-Duty Ball
Extra duty and regular duty are terms used to measure the thickness of felt covering the ball, w.r.t court you are playing on. Extra duty has thicker felt and regular has thin felt.
Extra felt keeps the ball less wear down on harder surfaces and regular duty is designed for soft surfaces like clay court or indoor court.
If you are playing on harder surfaces then go for extra duty ball and If you are playing on softer surfaces go for regular duty ball.
Playing surface is a key factor while choosing a tennis ball, as you need different balls for each court. Soft clay or grass court needs regular duty balls and hard court needs extra duty ball.
If you tend to play on a variety of courts then general/all-purpose ball can save you a lot of time and money.
Durable means a ball that lasts longer than other balls and provides the required comfort of play. In simple words you don’t have to change the ball every time you hit it like it should be. It can save a lot of time and money.
What makes a Tennis Ball Durable?
Usually pressurized balls are durable but reinforced rubber coating and extra durable felts are symbols for long-lasting balls.
Its method to mark the ball for different purposes, i.e. the ball is manufactured for recreational, practice/training, or for professional play. Tiers may refer to quality, means from top quality professional ball to low quality practice ball.
Balls are divided in three tiers, Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three.
Tier One: Mostly used by pro players. It’s a high quality, expensive tennis ball with excellent bounce and speed at the cost of durability. Intermediate players can use this ball for enhanced performance
Tier Two: The most common ball for tennis games. Occasional and intermediate players use fall in this tier.
Tire Three: The Best tennis ball for beginner players. Beginner won’t hit it hard, that’s where manufacturers take advantage to keep the cost low and durable, long-lasting balls.
Best Tennis Balls for Adult Beginners
For adult beginner pressure-less, medium fastballs are good. There are three pace categories of adult balls as defined by the ITF, each category has both pressurized and pressure-less balls range.
- Category 1 – Slow
- Category 2 – Medium Slow
- Category 3 – Medium
- Category 4 – Medium Fast
- Category 5 – Fast
International Tennis Federation (ITF) has specified weights and dimensions for these balls, which can help you a lot while choosing a tennis ball.
Beginner balls aren’t used to play for a long time period, which means you should progress towards the next level: intermediate with proper learning. You should play with these balls for a couple of months or up to when you have the mind to switch to the next standard.
High Altitude Tennis Balls
These balls are approved by ITF and used at highly elevated courts i.e. more than or equal to 4000 ft. Basically it’s a special pressurized ball and has low bounce on a specific altitude.
It is manufactured from high quality felt material, especially to solve problems of high altitude and to provide smooth gameplay.
It is 6% bigger than regular ball which balances the low air pressure on this altitude. Due to this low pressure, you may need other accessories like an oxygen mask to have a good play.
Best Tennis Ball Brand
A lot of brands are available in the market. But you should not choose any brand just because you like it. If you try different brands It would be a plus for you. You can easily understand which brand suits your playing style, surface, or skill.
Beginners should opt for tier-three balls. These balls are inexpensive and long life.
Budget for Tennis Ball
Usually, the budget is not much of a concern when talking about tennis balls. It’s affordable for almost everyone. But it could increase if you didn’t choose the right tennis ball, which can add up and that leads to frustration.
A ball is the basic need in tennis and will be consumed in routine, so it is advised that buy them in bulk quantity. It will be cheap and keeps you gameplay one for the long run.
How long a new tennis ball will last? Primarily it depends upon your skill level, play style, game type, court type, and whether playing with ball machines or not?
Usually in professional matches balls lasts shorter for 2,3 hours or 7/9 games. Regular ball with moderate hitting lasts more hours/games. Practice balls with ball machines can survive for days.
Simply when ball becomes fuzzy, can be squeezed easily, have very low bounce, sound changes like flat ball, then you should change ball.
Balls are pressurized above atmospheric pressure (more inside pressure than outside) to give perfect bounce and rubber is not perfect to keep the pressure at the manufactured level. So cans are pressurized and sealed to maintain pressure at the factory/best level.
Dunlop, WIlson, Slazanger, Penn, Babolat, Viking Sport
Balls are numbered to identify balls easily. Whether playing at common courts so ball won’t mix up with others or to remember which ball you were playing/practicing after putting them back in can.
It’s answer is not simple, please read guide once.
Normally a tennis ball contains 3 balls and costs $2-3 USD. Some professional balls cost more than this.
We have reviewed possibly the best tennis balls for each skill level (beginner, intermediate, professional), player, court type (Clay, Grass and Hard court), and specific conditions (High Altitude). These are our recommendations not a final choice. It is worth to read before trying any random ball.
If you are keenly interested to play tennis and don’t have a high budget you can start with used tennis balls and can save a lot of time and money.
That’s all for now. Let us know which ball you prefer to play with and what other balls you would recommend for given categories.
If you have any questions, drop a comment or contact us.