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As any experienced tennis player knows, a high-quality can of tennis balls can make all the difference in performance on the court. If you’re new to tennis, you might not think much about the way tennis balls will affect your game. After all, any old tennis ball will work, right? But old, worn-out tennis balls lose their spring, which you’ll quickly realize as soon as you hit one. It can be pretty pathetic to watch a tennis ball past its prime bounce/limp weakly across the court.
I’ve played tennis most of my life, so I’ve tried out a number of tennis ball brands over the years. Both of my kids play too, so I’m familiar with training balls for beginners and how junior balls differ from your standard yellow ball. Based on my personal experience and buyer reviews, I’ve rounded up a list of the best tennis ball options available today for every level of player. And if you’re looking for the best balls for playing fetch with Fido, check out our list of the best dog toys.
While the US Open is played on acrylic hard courts, these regular duty tennis balls are designed for both clay and indoor courts. So if you’re a recreational player, like most of us are, these balls are a very good pick. They also last a long time for a regular duty ball, which is important since most recreational players typically don’t plan on purchasing balls on a regular basis.
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If you’re a serious tennis player and you plan on playing three or four days a week, the Penn Championship tennis ball is an excellent choice. These extra duty tennis balls are designed for harder courts, which means they have a thicker felt for added durability and longevity. They’re also USA and ITF approved for competitive play.
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Wilson’s Profile All Court Tennis Balls are a popular choice thanks to their versatility — they perform well on pretty much any court surface, even hard outdoor courts. These pressurized balls have a consistent bounce, and their signature Duraweave felt gives them added durability. They’re all-around excellent balls, great for practice, competing or casual play.
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If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, these Tour Comp tennis balls from Wilson are a great value. Perfect for recreational play or practice hitting, these balls hold up reasonably well and have an even bounce. And since you’re getting four balls per can, it’s hard to beat the price.
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While most of my picks have focused on durability, longevity and bounce, let’s not forget one important thing: How easy is it to find your balls on a crowded court? When you’re sharing your space with multiple players or with someone who’s having a lesson in the next court over, it’s hard to locate which balls are yours. These pink balls are the answer. And the best part is that for every can sold, Penn will donate 15 cents to benefit breast cancer research.
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If you’re new to tennis, it’s best to start out with a set of tennis balls that can help you gain control and more experience. We’re big fans of the Penn QST ball since they’re 75% slower than your average yellow ball and they have a lower compression for easier bounce.
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Tennis Ball FAQs
What should you look for when buying tennis balls?
When choosing tennis balls, you’ll first need to determine where and how often you’ll be playing so that you can find the best type of tennis ball that’s suitable for your needs. If you’re playing high above sea level, you’ll want to use high-altitude balls, for instance. If you plan to play on hard court surfaces, you’ll want to use extra-duty balls, while regular-duty tennis balls are better suited for grass courts or clay courts. Young children and beginners should start with bigger, softer balls that are slower than regular tennis balls, so they’re easier to see and make contact with.
What’s the difference between a regular duty and extra duty ball?
The main difference between regular-duty and extra-duty tennis balls is that extra-duty balls, also known as «hard court» balls, have a thicker and more durable felt covering, so they’re meant to last longer on hard surfaces. Regular duty balls are bouncier and move a little faster, which makes them ideal for indoor courts and clay courts.
What are the best beginner tennis balls?
Beginner tennis balls, better known as junior tennis balls, generally fall under four categories:
Foam tennis balls: Since they’re made of foam, these are the largest and lightest of the four. Players can easily make contact with these balls, but they’re best for smaller courts and short rackets.
Red tennis balls: Heavier than foam balls, but still bigger and lighter than the next stage up, these are our top pick for beginners. They’re 75% slower than a standard tennis ball and can help players pick up good techniques.
Orange tennis balls: These balls are 50% slower than a standard yellow ball. They’re not designed for full-size courts, but they help provide players with a good introduction to strategy and tactics.
Green tennis balls: These balls are designed for full-length courts and are the next step before players start using standard balls. They’re 25% slower than a standard tennis ball.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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