Best Tennis Balls Guide – Top Brands For 2018 (Reviews and Buyers Guide)

Three tennis balls under a racquet

If you think the tennis balls you choose to play with having a massive effect on your game is a load of balls… you are gravely mistaken, my friend.

Your choice of tennis ball will massively affect how good your game is when you get onto the courts. Different balls have different qualities depending on what brand you purchase and the quality of the ball itself which can make them better or worse for different types of player and different surfaces.

Part of the issue of selecting the best tennis balls to use is that it can be hard at the best of times to settle on a certain brand. The good news is that there is now more tennis ball brands on the market than ever before, which can make choosing the right one easier.

We have tested out several different types of ball and in this guide we have picked the balls that we like to use when playing tennis as well as which balls which are best for specific surfaces such as grass, hard courts and clay courts.

Our Top 3

 ImageBallBuy
#1Wilson US Open Regular Duty
#2Penn Championship XD
#3Dunlop Sports Championship

About Tennis Balls

Tennis balls have developed since then and have evolved substantially over the last several years, with a huge amount of money spent on the development of new technology.

Some popular brands of tennis balls include:

  • Dunlop
  • Wilson
  • Slazenger
  • Treton
  • Penn

Tenis balls are made all over the world though primarily in The USA and Europe.

There are a variety of surfaces that tennis is played on such as grass, clay, hard courts, asphalt, concrete, and astroturf. Different balls suit different surfaces better than others.

Colors

The standard color for tennis balls is yellow as decreed by The Tennis Federation. This color was chosen due to is clear visibility for both the players and spectators.

Types of Tennis Balls

Many tennis balls

There are three main types of tennis balls that are available for purchase: type1, type2, and type 3. With high altitude balls also available.

Type 1 balls are used on slower courts, Type 2 are for standard speed courts, and type 3 balls are used on the fastest courts.

Weight & Dimensions

There are certain restrictions on the size and weight of tennis balls. The ATP Offical Rulebook lists these as:

 Type 1
(Fast)
Type 2
(Medium)
Type 3
(Slow)
High Altitude
Mass56.0-59.4 grams
1.975-2.095 oz
56.0-59.4 grams
1.975-2.095 oz
56.0-59.4 grams
1.975-2.095 oz
56.0-59.4 grams
1.975-2.095 oz
Size6.54-6.68 cm
2.57-2.70 in
6.54-6.68 cm
2.57-2.70 in
7.00-7.30 cm
2.76-2.87 in
6.54-6.68 cm
2.57-2.70 in
Rebound138-151 cm
54-60 in
135-147 cm
53-58 in
135-147 cm
53-58 in
122-135 cm
48-53 in
Forward Deformation0.56-0.74 cm
0.22-0.291 in
0.56-0.74 cm
0.22-0.291 in
0.56-0.74 cm
0.22-0.291 in
0.56-0.74 cm
0.22-0.291 in
Return Deformation0.74-1.08 cm
0.291-0.425 in
0.80-1.08 cm
0.315-0.425 in
0.80-1.08 cm
0.315-0.425 in
0.80-1.08 cm
0.315-0.425 in

Levels: Recreational, Championship, and Professional

There are three main types of tennis balls that are made by manufacturers: professional level balls, championship level, and recreational level. The kind of ball that you choose will come down to what you want to use it for, as well as how advanced your game is.

Recreational level balls: are good for practice matches and those who are getting used to the game.

Championship level balls: are used for those who are already good at tennis and want something with a little more kick behind their serves.

Professional level balls: are used by some of the best tennis players around the world and allow for more precision, control and power.

Types of Tennis Balls: Pressurized on Non-Pressurized

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a tennis ball is whether it is pressurized or not. Most modern day balls are but it is still worth considering. Non-pressurized balls bounce on their rubber shells and do not have the pressurized air inside.

Non-pressurized balls have the advantage of not losing their bounce like normal tennis balls and will gain more buoyancy the more you use them.

Pressurized balls are what is generally used by professional players and in tournament matches. These balls are more common, as the internal air pressure gives the ball more bounce, speed, and spin. The only downside to pressurized balls is that the use of them fades over time.

Regular Duty vs. Extra Duty

If you are on the lookout for new tennis balls, the type of court that you play on makes a big impact. If you are playing on softer courts like clay or indoor courts, you will want to purchase regular duty tennis balls.

If you are playing on harder surfaces or grass, then you can opt for extra duty balls.

The main difference between the two is the thickness of the felt covering. It is thicker on extra duty to allow for play and harder surfaces.

High Altitude

One point of consideration to make when choosing a tennis ball is where on the court you are hitting the ball. Higher altitudes will cause your shorts to bounce higher and travel faster, which can make it difficult for a range of players. High altitude, in this case, is set to be 4,000 feet or higher. If you are playing at this height, you’ll want to invest in some high-altitude tennis balls to mitigate these issues.

For Beginners and Kids

Children just starting out with tennis require specialty balls that are designed for a slower pace. Faster balls may be ideal for adults, but younger kids won’t be able to keep up with the pace of the game. Slower-moving foam balls are ideal for kids.

Two children holding tennis balls over their eyes

There are three types of stages that are suitable for use by children and beginners playing tennis:

  • Stage 3 (Red)
  • Stage 2 (Orange)
  • Stage 1 (Green)

These balls have specific weights and dimension that are specified by the International Tennis Federation as:

SpecificationsStage 1 (Green)
Standard
Stage 2 (Orange)
Standard
Stage 3 (Red)
Standard
Stage 3 (Red)
Foam
Mass (Weight)47.0-51.5 grams
1.658-1.817 ounces
36.0-46.9 grams
1.270-1.654 ounces
36.0-46.9 grams
1.270-1.654 ounces
25.0-43.0 grams
0.882-1.517 ounces
Size6.30-6.86 cm
2.48-2.70 inches
6.00-6.86 cm
2.36-2.70 inches
7.00-8.00 cm
2.76-3.15 inches
8.00-9.00 cm
3.15-3.54 inches
Rebound120-135 cm
47-53 inches
105-120 cm
41-47 inches
90-105 cm
35-41 inches
85-105 cm
33-41 inches
Forward Deformation0.80-1.05 cm
0.315-0.413 inches
1.40-1.65 cm
0.551-0.650 inches
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Specialty Balls

In addition to the above, there are also balls that exist for those who have elbow injuries, as well as balls to reduce the impact of the arm.

Top 3 Overall Tennis Balls in 2018

Below you will find some of the best tennis balls for this year. These tennis balls have been selected as they are the ones we like to use when playing. There are many good things about the tennis balls below, as they are the perfect combination of price, features, and durability.

If you want to find out more about any of the tennis balls that can be seen below, simply navigate to each of the product’s listing pages on Amazon. There you will find a wealth of reviews from satisfied clients who are more than happy to share their experiences with you.

1) Wilson US Open Regular Duty Tennis Ball

The Wilson US Open ball is the same model used in the US and Australian Open tournaments. These balls are an ideal choice if you want to play indoors or on a clay surface, as they are hard wearing and have a thick felt made from high-grade wool.  Although they may not be the ideal choice for other surfaces.

This ball is a great choice if you want maximum performance as well as increased durability against wear and they will generally last longer than other balls. The Wilson Standard stacks up well to the professional version of the ball, which makes them some of the best balls on the market today. They are also USTA and ITF Approved for competitive play.

2) Penn Championship XD Tennis Balls

The Penn Championship XD balls are the top selling tennis ball in the USA and are the official ball of the USTA League and are some of the easiest balls to play with an excellent quality. The Championship XD tennis balls are extra heavy duty with a wool fiber meaning they can be used on any surface and will last well.

The XD balls are famous for their controlled fiber release, which delivers a consistent spin and speed during serves and volleys. They are constructed from natural rubber which reduces the shock of the ball as it hits the court’s surface.

3) Dunlop Championship Tennis Balls

The Dunlop Championship tennis balls are perfect for playing on all surfaces and are a high-quality low-cost option with a highly pressurized core and low fuzz which makes then great for speed and bounce during swings and serves.

You can use the Sports Championship balls for practice or during club games without a problem. You get four balls per tube, so you still get quite a bit of quality for its relatively cheap price. Dunlop championship balls are durable, as well as a pleasure to play with. You get an even consistency, which is pretty impressive as well.

The only downside to these balls is that they can sometimes feel a little stiff, but they are still great to use during periods of practice.

Many players consider these balls the best option for newbies and professional players alike, which is due to the fact they are proven to go the distance and their bounce is very good. While they could be a little heavier than other balls, you can easily purchase them in bulk and they are of exceptional quality. We recommend you try a can of these tennis balls for yourself, they’re very affordable!

Best Tennis Balls For Hard Courts

If you are playing tennis on a hard court, then you should opt for heavy-duty brands such as those made by Dunlop, Wilson, and Penn. Hard courts require a professional ball option, as softer balls will degrade faster and may not last the distance.

The tennis balls that we have chosen above can be a great option for getting the best tennis ball for hard courts. Other options may still be available if you are ready to look around and compare your options.

Best Tennis Balls for Soft Courts

Softer courts require a different kind of tennis ball, which can easily be found out by reading the label and product description of your ball to see if it’s suitable for use on a soft court or not. The items that we have listed above should give you a clear indication if it is suitable for use on a soft court, as well as by reading the reviews from other satisfied buyers.

Conclusion

That concludes our guide and list of the best tennis balls of 2018. We hope that you have found this article informative, as well as helpful in your selection for the best tennis ball for your specific needs.

As you may have discovered, choosing a tennis ball that is an ideal fit mostly comes down to your own requirements and expectations, and there is certainly a lot of variety out there.

If you are a beginner, then we recommend that you select a non-pressurized, type 1 ball, as these generally perform the best for slowing down the pace of the game which can allow you to improve your mechanics and succeed at tennis. More advanced players can opt for a Professional series ball that is provided by many of the leading brands today, which will give you more kick behind your shots.

Many of the above products have earned four and five-star reviews, which means you can be assured of their quality and durability. You can read about other user’s experiences using the links provided above, as they can give you a good indication of whether a certain brand is going to perform better for you than a different model.

Thanks for reading this article. We hope that you have enjoyed learning about the different kinds of tennis balls that are on offer. The prices of tennis balls can go up or down at a moment’s notice, so thrifty shoppers will take advantage of the low-cost deals while they still can.