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View Full Version : Popularity and quality of tennis balls (by brand)


Davis937
12-23-2009, 07:20 PM
Most of my friends generally play with Penn balls ... last weekend I made the mistake of breaking open a new can of Dunlop balls ... the guys nearly tied me up, carried me off the court, and dumped me by the practice wall ... are Dunlops really that bad ... what's the deal with Penn balls ... are they that good? What do you think of Wilson balls? Appreciate your thoughts ... btw, I gave my other three unopened Dunlop cans to my daughter (... if she comes home crying after practice this weekend, I'll have a pretty good idea why) ... thanks in advance for your comments!

LeeD
12-23-2009, 07:26 PM
I play on concrete courts, so only use the extra felt heavy duties....
Dunlops the heaviest and last the longest, by far.
Penns not bad, the tournament ball, but lasts maybe 2 sets.
Wilsons work great, are lighter, and barely lasts 2 sets.
Everyone I play with prefers Dunlops, as you can hit out the wildest and keep it in play. Old farts bring Wilsons.

MomentumGT
12-23-2009, 07:47 PM
Dunlops are the heaviest and last the longest out of all the balls currently made imo. They also can take the most abuse and can still be worth while to use as warm up the next day after a long hard hitting session the night before. The best balls I've played with would be the Head ATP balls.

http://atomictennis.com/Images/HEAD_TENNIS_BALLS.jpg

-Jon

86golf
12-23-2009, 08:03 PM
Here are some weights and variances:

Wilson Ti -54 grams
Wilson championships-58,58,57,58
Wilson USOpen-60,56,57
Penn Championship extra duty- 57,57,57
Penn Championship regular duty- 57,57
ProPenn-58
Prince Tour-58,58,58

Typically, you get what you pay for when it comes to tennis balls.

volusiano
12-23-2009, 09:24 PM
Don't know what kind of Dunlop balls you use, but if you search this forum, many people on this board vote Dunlop Grandprix as their favorites over Penn. I've used the Dunlop Grandprix and the Hardcourt and also Penn and Wilson, but I don't see how the Penn has a noticable advantage over Dunlop balls or that Dunlop balls are in anyway inferior to any other brands.

dlesser13
12-23-2009, 10:22 PM
If you brought out dunlop championship balls, which are 2 tier balls among penn and wilson balls, then your friends have a point. Among the 2 tiers, wilson and penn have the edge, but when your talking about 3 tier balls(tourney balls, slam balls) dunlop grand prixs are the best you can get.

Storm_Kyori
12-23-2009, 10:24 PM
I've played with the Dunlop GP HC & Penn Championship XD & Dunlop Championship HC. I've played with the Penn's for about 2.5 years. I thought they were good since everyone around here seems to play with them. We all get that case at Costco so buy bulk and save. So anyway, I just started noticing that I kept running out of balls fast. The courts here are soo dusty and dirty. The felt gets really worn out and the balls would die after 3 sets. The next day I couldn't play with them. The bounce was not nearly as high like when I first popped the can. I asked around the forum here and bought me a case of the Grand Prix's. Best decision I made. The felt last a bit longer when the courts are cleaner as I still have some brand new looking balls in my bag right now. They bounce practically the same. You can keep them in your bags and use them to practice with and not feel like they are "practice" balls or feel like giving them to your dog. The Dunlop Championship area also very good. I don't think I will find a better ball to play on Hardcourts. I've tried Wilson Titanium and those are just bad. Head ATP No 1....awful. I guess from what I hear is that Dunlop has a hard core, which makes them last longer. They do feel noticeably heavier that most balls, but I adjusted pretty easily and the balls are still good.

ms87
12-23-2009, 11:57 PM
I work at a tennis store, have tried just about every ball out there, and have found dunlop championship to be the best balls. Your mileage may vary.

user92626
12-24-2009, 12:09 AM
Almost everyone I play with play with Penn Championship extra duty. IMO, they're preferable for their softness, puffyness and light. I dunno. I imagine they don't last 2 ATP games, but recreational players are light hitter. I like Dunlop -- cheaper and stay hard longer. Wilson is just hard by the rubber. I don't like them.

Davis937
12-24-2009, 03:04 AM
... thanks for your comments and the information. You're right ... several of you commented on the "heaviness" of the Dunlop ball ... my friends actually complained that the balls were too heavy (hard on elbows, wrists, knees ... joking ...) ... they also felt that the balls weren't lively enough ... it might just be a local preference (most play with Penn balls) ... haven't tried the more expensive/better quality Dunlops yet ... but I plan to give them a try ... if they feel good, I'll try to convince the group to give those balls a try.

tennis_balla
12-24-2009, 03:33 AM
The Dunlop Championship and Grand Prix balls are great, the ones in the plastic can. Those Dunlop Fort or whatever they are called in the tin can are like playing with a rock when you start off.
I bet the OP's friends like Penn's cause to me they seems to be the lightest. I found the Head ATP to be almost the same as Pro Penn's, I didn't really like them to be honest. Head owns Penn so its not surprising they are similar. Also, whats interesting is that Penn used to claim they are the only manufacturer who still makes tennis balls in the USA. No longer, cause they are made in China now. Another one bites the dust.

One of the best tennis balls I've ever played with though were Dunlops in Germany. I don't know the exact name but it says "Dunlop #1 Ball in Germany" on them and they came in a paper box instead of a can and were sealed in an air tight plastic bag.

However, you guys can keep your Wilson and Penn and Head ATP tennis balls, cause these are the best ever :razz:

http://www.actiontenis.com/tienda/components/com_virtuemart/shop_image/product/Dunlop_Fort_Rola_49f4672287fed.jpg

joesucks
12-24-2009, 08:38 AM
I don't know if any of you have used Gamma Balls but they are incredible feel and bounce to them, the bounce also lasts for a long time relative to any other ball I have used so far.
Apparently they come with nitrogen filled. Though initial feel is somewhat hard.
Try them for true bounce.

volusiano
12-24-2009, 03:50 PM
I don't know if any of you have used Gamma Balls but they are incredible feel and bounce to them, the bounce also lasts for a long time relative to any other ball I have used so far.
Apparently they come with nitrogen filled. Though initial feel is somewhat hard.
Try them for true bounce.

Interesting. I didn't know this. Does Gamma advertise this fact on their cans? I would pick a nitrogen filled ball over a regular air one. All manufacturers should start doing this.

VaBeachTennis
12-24-2009, 05:17 PM
Most of my friends generally play with Penn balls ... last weekend I made the mistake of breaking open a new can of Dunlop balls ... the guys nearly tied me up, carried me off the court, and dumped me by the practice wall ... are Dunlops really that bad ... what's the deal with Penn balls ... are they that good? What do you think of Wilson balls? Appreciate your thoughts ... btw, I gave my other three unopened Dunlop cans to my daughter (... if she comes home crying after practice this weekend, I'll have a pretty good idea why) ... thanks in advance for your comments!

I buy whatever is on sale at Walmart. Either the Penns or the Wilson Titanium. I prefer the Wilson titanium over the Penn for longevity and durability. I've hit with Dunlops before, I think that they are fine.

LeeD
12-24-2009, 05:36 PM
Davies.... your friends are pansies! Dunlops are the heaviest, and need a real man to whip them around. :twisted::twisted:

mikeler
12-24-2009, 05:56 PM
I like high bouncing balls so Prince is my favorite. Dunrocks are tough on the elbow but I also think Penn's with their low bounce are tough on the back always bending down to dig out balls.

dbusiness
12-24-2009, 06:39 PM
I support what most people are saying regarding the brands.
The main issue I have with them is the quality and consistency has dropped in that I am getting a lot with bulging felt seams, where the whole unopened can is flat, loose rubber particles are inside the ball and where one ball is half flat.

For clay at my club most people play with Penn or Wilson.
When I hit with the Pro Penn they seem like they are Not puffy and have a feel in between Penn and Dunlop. Wilson does seem lighter and don't seem to travel as slow as Penn.

For Hard court I only want to play with Dunlop. They are heavier balls but I want to play with people who take tennis conditioning seriously and don't hear many complaints about the weight. Dunlop's seem to travel faster, have a more consistent playability and better consistent bounce then Penn or Wilson.

fruitytennis1
12-24-2009, 09:39 PM
Dunlops!! Though most used are Penn.

Ye old hackers use wilson. Im not even kidding older hackers always use wilsons.

fps
12-25-2009, 02:15 AM
i use slazenger ultra vis wimbledon balls. love them more than the other balls i've tried, head, dunlop etc.

LeeD
12-25-2009, 08:40 AM
Post 2 and 18 support each other..... :):)
I'm one month from 61, always bring Dunlops, use DunlopMfil and Aero 200's 18x20.

Djokovicfan4life
12-25-2009, 09:03 AM
I'm no expert on balls (thankfully), but Slazenger Wimbledon's are the best I've used, followed closely by Wilson Us Open.

doctor dennis
12-25-2009, 09:28 AM
i use slazenger ultra vis wimbledon balls. love them more than the other balls i've tried, head, dunlop etc.

Props to this person. Of all the tennis balls I've ever played with these are the best. Can't quite pit my finger on it but they just feel better than all other balls. All IMO though.
I normally play with Wilson or Dunlops however as you can get those cheap by me in the UK. 10 for 12 which is good.
I'd say that the Dunlops are better than the Wilsons.
I do like Penn balls but they are really hard to get hold of by me.

LeeD
12-25-2009, 09:36 AM
I'd support Slazenger balls, but they're absolutely impossible to get nowadays in the SanFranciscoBayArea.
OTOH, I liked Tretorn bowling balls too, as all my contempories couldn't return my serve with those balls....:):)

Davis937
12-26-2009, 01:31 AM
I'm no expert on balls (thankfully), but Slazenger Wimbledon's are the best I've used, followed closely by Wilson Us Open.

... not too many people I know use Slazenger balls ... in our locale, at least ... are they generally used more in European countries ... or maybe that country they call California (sorry ... we still love you guys out there) ... I never liked that Slazenger trade mark/icon (... hmmm, a tiger or some kind of cat ... not that I have anything against felines ... just bugs me (no, I don't hate bugs), that's all!

TNT16
12-26-2009, 07:21 AM
Most of my friends generally play with Penn balls ... last weekend I made the mistake of breaking open a new can of Dunlop balls ... the guys nearly tied me up, carried me off the court, and dumped me by the practice wall ... are Dunlops really that bad ... what's the deal with Penn balls ... are they that good? What do you think of Wilson balls? Appreciate your thoughts ... btw, I gave my other three unopened Dunlop cans to my daughter (... if she comes home crying after practice this weekend, I'll have a pretty good idea why) ... thanks in advance for your comments!

Penn -- I stopped using them after the sixth can which contained almost dead balls when you first pop the can. Dunlops -- a lot more consistent and last longer. After I first popped a can of Dunlops to similar feedback at our club a year or two ago, about a third of the players there have slowly switched to Dunlops. Just better balls all around.

doctor dennis
12-26-2009, 10:36 AM
... not too many people I know use Slazenger balls ... in our locale, at least ... are they generally used more in European countries ... or maybe that country they call California (sorry ... we still love you guys out there) ... I never liked that Slazenger trade mark/icon (... hmmm, a tiger or some kind of cat ... not that I have anything against felines ... just bugs me (no, I don't hate bugs), that's all!

Yeah Slazenger are a more UK thing as far as I know. Nor sure about the rest if Europe though. By me they are really common but they cost more than most other balls but you do get a high quality ball for the price.

Davis937
12-26-2009, 10:44 AM
Yeah Slazenger are a more UK thing as far as I know. Nor sure about the rest if Europe though. By me they are really common but they cost more than most other balls but you do get a high quality ball for the price.

... thanks, Doc ... about how much does a can of Slazengers go for? what country/area/region (UK?) do you live?

doctor dennis
12-26-2009, 02:46 PM
... thanks, Doc ... about how much does a can of Slazengers go for? what country/area/region (UK?) do you live?

I'm from Birmingham, UK.
They are about 5/6 for a can of 4 but i have seen them retail as high as 9.99 which i thought was crazy for 4 balls.
This equates to about $9.50 - $15.00 for 4.

fruitytennis1
12-26-2009, 03:49 PM
Never tried Slazengers. Dont think I ever will with that kind of $$$

SystemicAnomaly
12-26-2009, 07:07 PM
Never tried Slazengers. Dont think I ever will with that kind of $$$

You should be able to find a 4-ball can of the Slazenger Wimbledon (Ultra-Vis) for less than $4/can if you search online (try Tennis Boom, for one). Not too easy to find in local shops in the US, sadly. I agree that this is one of the best balls on the market, easily the best I've ever used -- easiest to see, good feel, durable, good bounce, and very good quality control.

After the Slazengers, I'd go with the Dunlop Gran Prix and then the Wilson US Open. The Penn/Head ATP ball is also very decent. The Championship balls from Penn, Dunlop and Wilson are somewhat lower grade balls than the premium balls previously mentioned. Of the Championship balls I'd grade Dunlop the best and Wilson last.

The Penn Championship balls appear to be popular because the are relatively cheap (under $2/can) and feel a bit softer than the others. However, they are not as durable as the others -- the bounce & liveliness is noticeably diminshed during the 2nd or 3rd set of use. The quality control of the Penn Champs seems to be somewhat less than the Dunlop and significantly less than the US Opens and other premium balls. It seems that nearly every can of Penn Champs has 1 substandard ball. It is usually either a cosmetic reject (which is usually tolerable) or, more often than not, that 3rd ball has a substandard bounce compared to the other 2 balls in the can.

On cold nights, the softness of the Penn Champs can be a plus. The Wilson & Dunlop Champs will feel often like rocks for quite a while. However, for moderate or warmer weather, I'd opt for the Dunlop Champs or one of the premium balls.

fruitytennis1
12-26-2009, 07:15 PM
Yea dunlop grand prix. When you hit the ball it feels like a clean heavy hit always. Plus their bounce is lively and their durability is great.

SystemicAnomaly
12-26-2009, 08:32 PM
I forgot to mention the Prince Tour ball. This is a very good premium ball, pretty much on par with the Wilson US Open and the Penn/Head ATP balls. The Gamma ProTour ball is probably also in this same class. Have not used them enough to compare them to other premium balls. Would still rate the Dunlop Gran Prix above the others (except for the top dog, the Slazenger Wimbledon ball).

Gamma claims that Nitrogen is used in their ProTour and Championship balls "to retain pressure longer and maintain a lively resilient bounce on all court surfaces". Why would nitrogen be superior to regular air in this respect? FYI - the air the we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, & 1% misc gases. Oxygen appears right after Nitrogen on the periodic table and (therefore) has an atomic weight and density that are slightly greater than that of nitrogen.

Give this info (or any other that might be pertinent), why would nitrogen be superior to regular air? Actually, according to one source I found, the compressed gas in (most?) tennis balls is a "predetermined mixed amounts of air and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas"

wiki.answers.com/Q/Wich_gas_is_commonly_used_in_tennis_balls (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Wich_gas_is_commonly_used_in_tennis_balls)
.

SystemicAnomaly
12-26-2009, 08:33 PM
Has anyone tried the Championship balls from Prince and Gamma? How do they compare to the Champs from Dunlop, Penn (Head), & Wilson.

Power Player
12-26-2009, 09:38 PM
I can pic between Penn and Dunlops at my tennis shop. Dunlops last way longer...not even close. I get the player elites. Penn Pros die after 2 hours while I can use Dunlops the next day if needed.

Ambivalent
12-26-2009, 10:24 PM
Wilson's are the best for flat hitters.

Davis937
12-26-2009, 11:13 PM
I'm from Birmingham, UK.
They are about 5/6 for a can of 4 but i have seen them retail as high as 9.99 which i thought was crazy for 4 balls.
This equates to about $9.50 - $15.00 for 4.

... thanks, Doc ... yes, the price is a little prohibitive for us (public park rats) ... also, a can of 4 would definitely throw my tennis universe off balance ... I've never seen that before ... ignorant Yanks, right *smile*!

SystemicAnomaly
12-27-2009, 06:13 AM
... thanks, Doc ... yes, the price is a little prohibitive for us (public park rats) ... also, a can of 4 would definitely throw my tennis universe off balance ... I've never seen that before ... ignorant Yanks, right *smile*!

Expand thy universe. 4-ball cans are the way to go. After 3 sets, the 4 Slaz Wimby balls will be in much better shape than your 3 sad Penn Champs. Added plus-- you can hit one over the fence & still have more than two. There are several online sources that sell the Slaz balls for a bit less than $1/ball -- close to the same rate that most premium balls usually sell for. Well worth the price.

Slazenger07
12-28-2009, 02:43 PM
i use slazenger ultra vis wimbledon balls. love them more than the other balls i've tried, head, dunlop etc.

Yes, I love these balls, I usually use them when I play.

Xenakis
12-28-2009, 02:50 PM
I normally use Wilson Aussie Open balls and recently I got a can of Head ATP balls which I quite like too.

I've found the Aussie opens last for ages. Even when the fuzz has worn off them they still bounce fine and you can use them as practice balls.

I think the LTA in my area or nationally (not sure) use the Aussie opens as I bought some cheap from my club that had been used once in a tournament and I was told those are the official balls.

Not found the Slazenger or Dunlops as long lasting (never tried the Dunlop Grand Prix or Roland Garros however.)

joesucks
12-28-2009, 05:26 PM
Not sure why Nitrogen gives you more bounce, around where I live they are also filling cars with nitrogen for better mileage.
Overall the Gamma's I have used have lasted 2 or 3 times as long as the Dunlop's that we have usually purchased (all the guys at the courts pool and order a box in spring), and Penn's and wilsons that we pick up on occasions from stores locally.

Toland
12-28-2009, 07:03 PM
Has anyone tried the Championship balls from Prince and Gamma? How do they compare to the Champs from Dunlop, Penn (Head), & Wilson.

Prince Championship is lively, light and bounce higher then any other balls I tried. I like it more then Dunlop, Penn or Wilson Championships versions.
Durability is about the same as Penn. Prince Tour though is in all aspects better, then Prince Championship

Cindysphinx
12-28-2009, 11:15 PM
Costco -- I mean Penn -- balls.

If my friends don't like it, *they* can provide the balls.

Jay_The_Nomad
12-28-2009, 11:56 PM
Yep. I often play with slazenger high viz. My absolute favourite especially at night.

When they say "high visibility" it isn't a marketing gimmick.

It truly is high vis.

Very easy to track the ball even in dim light conditions especially around dusk when the flood lights are still off. It is about 12 bucks per can of 4 so about $3 per ball ($AUD).

mikeler
12-29-2009, 06:01 AM
I saw the Slazenger Wimbledons at a big box store here locally. I plan to try them in the next few months.

GinoGinelli
12-29-2009, 10:34 AM
I'm from Birmingham, UK.
They are about 5/6 for a can of 4 but i have seen them retail as high as 9.99 which i thought was crazy for 4 balls.
This equates to about $9.50 - $15.00 for 4.

3.99 for 4 in sports direct. I buy slaz or dunlop, wilsons wear out in half the time

keepurpowderdry
12-29-2009, 12:18 PM
Yes Dunlop is the heaviest. Everyone is giving you the right Info.
I can add though my experience. I practice on Tuesday's and Wednesday's with extra duty penns and dunlops. Then I went to play my first Adult doubles tournament and they gave us the wilson us open balls . They where light as a feather and went flat after 3 games. I just couldn't adjust in time and when they went flat it took our power game away.
Afterwards I asked the director do you always use Wilson US open balls , She replied Yes and so do most all the tournaments here in southern California do.

So if you play tournament's or want to then do what i do I call ahead of time and ask what ball are they playing with and then I buy those balls and practice during the week . Works out perfectly.

Power Player
12-29-2009, 12:23 PM
^^^

Good idea. It's amazing the difference in balls. It is pretty dramatic.

keepurpowderdry
12-29-2009, 12:45 PM
Yep..

I personaly like the penn's the best though ..

SystemicAnomaly
12-29-2009, 01:54 PM
Yep. I often play with slazenger high viz. My absolute favourite especially at night.

When they say "high visibility" it isn't a marketing gimmick.

It truly is high vis.

Very easy to track the ball even in dim light conditions especially around dusk when the flood lights are still off. It is about 12 bucks per can of 4 so about $3 per ball ($AUD).

I find it incredible the the price is so high in some areas. Online prices that I've seen around here are very reasonable.

I agree that the ultra-vis appears to be brighter than the other high visibility premium balls (Gran Prix, US Open, ATP, etc). Slazenger has made the claim that the ball reflects more (visible) light that hits it. The implication is that it somehow takes the invisible UV light that hits the ball and shifts it into the visible light spectrum.

I saw some evidence of this phenomenon with their special-edition white 100-yr anniversary ball in 2002. The balls appeared to be super-white in most lighting situations. Under some full spectrum lighting, you could even detect a slight, but distinct violet cast to the ball -- some UV rendered visible?

Davis937
01-03-2010, 02:47 AM
... I'm curious ... does anyone know what balls they use for each of the four grand slam tournaments ... I wonder how they determine tournament balls for some of the "smaller" ATP tournaments ... how about you female players ... any preference/thoughts regarding balls / ball playability ...

Marcus
01-03-2010, 09:41 AM
I'm from Birmingham, UK.
They are about 5/6 for a can of 4 but i have seen them retail as high as 9.99 which i thought was crazy for 4 balls.
This equates to about $9.50 - $15.00 for 4.

naaa.... 3.99 in Sport & Soccer :)

SystemicAnomaly
01-03-2010, 12:49 PM
... I'm curious ... does anyone know what balls they use for each of the four grand slam tournaments ... I wonder how they determine tournament balls for some of the "smaller" ATP tournaments ... how about you female players ... any preference/thoughts regarding balls / ball playability ...

In chrono order, I believe the slams use:

Wilson Australian Open Tennis balls
Dunlop Roland Garros Tennis balls
Slazenger Wimbledon Tennis balls
Wilson US Open Tennis balls

Not sure if the Extra Duty or Regular Duty is used for each of these tournaments. One possibility is that the men use the extra duty balls whereas the WTA players use the standard duty balls. (If this is the case, I wonder which "duty" is used for mixed doubs).

For many of the ATP tournaments, the Penn ATP ball is used in the US while the Head ATP ball is used outside of the US. These are essentially the same balls since Penn is a subsidiary of the Head company. Where Prince is a major sponsor of a tournament, Prince Tour balls are used.

Not sure about WTA events, but I have seen what appears to be Regular Duty (red label) Penn balls used at the BoW tournament at Stanford.
.

Davis937
01-03-2010, 02:00 PM
In chrono order, I believe the slams use:

Wilson Australian Open Tennis balls
Dunlop Roland Garros Tennis balls
Slazenger Wimbledon Tennis balls
Wilson US Open Tennis balls

Not sure if the Extra Duty or Regular Duty is used for each of these tournaments. One possibility is that the men use the extra duty balls whereas the WTA players use the standard duty balls. (If this is the case, I wonder which "duty" is used for mixed doubs).

For many of the ATP tournaments, the Penn ATP ball is used in the US while the Head ATP ball is used outside of the US. These are essentially the same balls since Penn is a subsidiary of the Head company. Where Prince is a major sponsor of a tournament, Prince Tour balls are used.

Not sure about WTA events, but I have seen what appears to be Regular Duty (red label) Penn balls used at the BoW tournament at Stanford.
.

... thanks, SystemicA ... for all of their whining, my friends should note that none of the Grand Slam events are currently using Penn balls ... that says something right there ... interesting that Wilson balls are used for two of the grand slams ... as mentioned previously, Wilson and Dunlop balls are "no no" on our courts ... maybe my buddies should start to do some "global" thinking ... for a change! You sound pretty knowledgeable, SystemicA ... have you been involved in any tournament organizing/operations?

Xenakis
01-03-2010, 02:01 PM
The Head ATP balls I bought a while ago are still going strong after quite a few matches indoor and outdoor, wet/dry and very cold. I like them just as much as the Wilson Aussie Opens, but they are 1 more expensive per tin (think they are cheaper in bulk though.)

SystemicAnomaly
01-04-2010, 05:05 AM
... thanks, SystemicA ... for all of their whining, my friends should note that none of the Grand Slam events are currently using Penn balls ... that says something right there ... interesting that Wilson balls are used for two of the grand slams ... as mentioned previously, Wilson and Dunlop balls are "no no" on our courts ... maybe my buddies should start to do some "global" thinking ... for a change! You sound pretty knowledgeable, SystemicA ... have you been involved in any tournament organizing/operations?

As mentioned before, many non-pro players like the Penn Championship balls because they are somewhat decent, relatively inexpensive and feel softer than Dunlops and Wilson balls. This can be a real plus when playing in cold weather. Except for cold weather play, I shy away from Penn Champs. For moderate or warmer weather, Wilson or Dunlops are my ball of choice (except the inferior Wilson Championship ball).

Do any of your friends use or like the Penn ATP (or Head ATP) ball? It is a much better ball than the Penn Champ ball that most recreational plays use -- nearly as good as the US Open (Wilson) or Gran Prix (Dunlop) balls. While many ATP tournaments use the ATP balls, I don't believe that any use the Penn Champs. (Not sure about WTA events tho').

Nope, have not been involved at all in running tournaments. However, I have been playing for more than 35 years and started coaching in the early '80s.
.

DNShade
01-04-2010, 06:07 AM
In chrono order, I believe the slams use:

Wilson Australian Open Tennis balls
Dunlop Roland Garros Tennis balls
Slazenger Wimbledon Tennis balls
Wilson US Open Tennis balls

Not sure if the Extra Duty or Regular Duty is used for each of these tournaments. One possibility is that the men use the extra duty balls whereas the WTA players use the standard duty balls. (If this is the case, I wonder which "duty" is used for mixed doubs).

For many of the ATP tournaments, the Penn ATP ball is used in the US while the Head ATP ball is used outside of the US. These are essentially the same balls since Penn is a subsidiary of the Head company. Where Prince is a major sponsor of a tournament, Prince Tour balls are used.

Not sure about WTA events, but I have seen what appears to be Regular Duty (red label) Penn balls used at the BoW tournament at Stanford.
.

All correct there. Wilson and Dunlop split the slams (Dunlop owns Slazenger of course) - two each. And yes - at master series events they use Head/Penn ATP balls and at combined (IW, Miami, Slams, etc.) events they all seem to use extra duty for the men and regular duty for the women - and I believe they use regular duty at all WTA events.

For the US Open series - they use the Wilson US Open balls of course - but the master series events leading up to the US Open use the Head/Penn ATP balls - which some of the players have been complaining about - having to change and get used to the different balls right before the Open. Interesting stuff.

SystemicAnomaly
01-05-2010, 04:29 AM
All correct there. Wilson and Dunlop split the slams (Dunlop owns Slazenger of course) - two each. And yes - at master series events they use Head/Penn ATP balls and at combined (IW, Miami, Slams, etc.) events they all seem to use extra duty for the men and regular duty for the women - and I believe they use regular duty at all WTA events.

For the US Open series - they use the Wilson US Open balls of course - but the master series events leading up to the US Open use the Head/Penn ATP balls - which some of the players have been complaining about - having to change and get used to the different balls right before the Open. Interesting stuff.

Good catch. The relationship between Slazenger and Dunlop had slipped my mind. However, I wonder if Slazenger balls and Dunlop balls are actually produced by the same manufacturing facilities.

Thnx for the feedback on the"duty" question.

I would think that other variables would to tend minimize the difference between the ATP balls and the US Open balls. Each tournament is played at venues that are at various altitudes. Besides this difference in atmospheric pressure, there are also differences in humidity and temp. Each venue has a different court surface as well. Aren't some venues played on indoor surfaces and others on hard court surfaces? Even if they are all played on hard courts, the speed of the the surface varies from one place to the next.

charliefedererer
01-06-2010, 10:21 AM
Apparently there is one Dunlop/Slazenger factory:
"At the Dunlop Slazenger factory in Bataan there is a whole laboratory dedicated to the development and testing of tennis balls. There are people in the company who spend their entire working lives thinking "blue sky" thoughts about the future of tennis balls. There are academics in the engineering department at the University of Loughborough who spend their days pondering the subject. There are professional tennis managers in Cheltenham paid to test sample balls on court."
"Open the door, though, and the machines take over. Neck-bendingly high, gargantuan machines whose background roar is overlaid by endearing whoops, pings, booms and gunshot sounds as they grind through their work. The workers' white polo shirts and blue jeans are just specks in this Brobdingnagian landscape.
High on a platform in the midst of all this activity, Ricardo Caranto feeds the monster. Every few minutes, to the sound of a hoot, bleep or buzz, he opens a hatch and throws a chunk of rubber and a consignment of clay filler or chemicals down a chute into a huge mixer below.
Down below him, the machine emits huge blankets of Plasticine-like pink rubber, which pop, bubble-wrap style, as they are fed through metal rollers. Along the way they are installing another of these great beasts, shipped here from Barnsley."

To visit:
" To reach Dunlop Slazenger's Bataan factory, you must take a ferry from Manila to the little port at Orion, then drive for 40 minutes or so through lush forests and past tumbledown houses to the export zone at Mariveles."

Apparently the Slazenger plant in Barnsley, Great Britian, closed in 2002.
"In the end, the closure of Barnsley was a quiet affair. The redbrick former munitions factory closed its doors a couple of weeks ahead of schedule in the middle of last month after the tournament balls were ready. The 134 workers came back at the end of May to collect their final pay, and that was that.
For those of them who watch the last batch of Barnsley-produced balls taking centre stage at Wimbledon today, there won't be the same thrill of anticipation, of excitement at seeing their work in action, that they felt in previous years. For them, the game is already over."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2002/jun/24/tennis.wimbledon20027

dman72
01-06-2010, 10:29 AM
Dunlop all the way for me. The only ball I can realistically use 2 matches in a row a few days apart. Penns and Wilsons are done after a few sets. They use them in my club too, so it's what I'm used to in terms of the heavy feel.

skiracer55
01-06-2010, 12:17 PM
...seem to work fine. I had some Dunlops that seemed pretty junky last year, but maybe they weren't the top end ones. Most of the tournaments around here use Wilson; they're okay, but they feel a little lighter than Penns. I like something that's solid, but whatever it is, it needs to be High Altitude (Boulder is at 5300 feet, or something like that). And the most important thing for me is that when I have a session with my hitting partner, we always open two cans (distributes the wear better), and they're retired to the serving ball bucket after two sessions...

SystemicAnomaly
01-07-2010, 01:30 AM
^ You've been very specific about which Penn ball you are talking about but not so with the Dunlop & Wilson balls. I'll agree that the Penn Champ is a better ball than the Wilson Champ but it pales/fails in comparison to the Wilson US Open. I'd take the Dunlop Champs (and the premium, Gran Prix, of course) over the Penn Champs. Dunlop makes quite a lot of different tennis balls -- there are, no doubt, some cheap Dunlop training balls that make the Penn Championship balls look decent by comparison.