How To Choose a Tennis Ball

Although choosing the appropriate tennis ball for your next match might not determine the outcome, it will probably factor into your performance. Tennis balls are manufactured in different ways by different companies, and all do not perform equally.  Here's how to make the correct ball choice to help you achieve an optimal performance on the court.

To determine which ball is right for you, it is important first to factor in the surface upon which you will be playing. There are different balls available for the various tennis court surfaces.  Clay court tennis requires a denser ball.  Grass tennis uses a different ball; these are not readily available in the United States, but can be purchased through specialty retailers on line.  Since most tennis is played on hard courts, balls for these courts are the most widely available in stores.

After determining the surface, someone purchasing a tennis ball needs to decide how many balls to purchase.  Tennis balls are sold in cans of three and four, with the cans containing four balls often being the better bargain. Most matches demand at least three balls, but beginners or people playing with children may do better with the extra ball that a four-ball can provides.  The four-ball cans are normally priced the same as three-ball cans, or may be priced at just pennies more.

There are a few reputable tennis ball manufacturers with balls on the market, and it is important to stick with these balls when purchasing. Unknown brands tend to have low pressure, be of low quality and go flat easily.  Wilson, Penn, and Dunlop are the leading tennis balls on the market and all have the distinction of quality.  While personal preference tends to be the main impetus behind most people's ball selections, these balls vary very little with respect to durability and performance.

Occasionally, one of the manufacturers will turn out a bad batch, and it is probably a good idea to ask around at tennis centers what brand of ball is popular at any given time.

There are alternative choices in tennis balls also.  Larger, colorful foam-based balls are now the suggested tennis ball for teaching children in the Quick Start tennis program.  Additionally, there are unpressurized balls that are available for tennis ball machines; these last ten times longer than regular tennis balls.  All of these can be found on line at larger tennis tennis retailers as well as at your local sporting goods retailers.


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