Brand spanking new can of...DEAD balls.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jaybear1909, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. jaybear1909

    jaybear1909 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Georgia
    I played a match the other day and the guy opened a new can of balls. He threw me two and I immediately noticed they were completely dead - as dead as I've ever felt. We warmed up and these things had no bounce (to give you an example I dropped one from shoulder height and it bounced to about my shin). I didn't say anything, but I felt like I should.

    After warm-up, I figured he'd say the balls were dead and ask if we should open another can (I had one in my bag just in case). He said nothing and I didn't want to seem like "one of those people", so I let it slide thinking "He has to play with them too".

    The first few games I took a comfortable 3-0 lead. I started to think about how dead the balls were and it began to effect me mentally. Everytime I'd miss I would think about the abyssal deadness. He started to come back but I pulled it together and closed the first set 6-3. I told myself this was good for me since I have some seriously bad mental issues in tennis. I played on and ended up winning the second set 6-1.

    It wasn't a fun match though. I couldn't hit any penetrating balls. It did help me to approach though. I played a lot more at net than I usually do.

    Anyways, if you were in this situation what would you have done? Would you have sucked it up or offered to open another can?

    Oh and he got them from Rite Aid. I'm wondering if he buys them there a lot haha. Dead balls actually suited his flat, short game.
     
    #1
  2. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    305
    Location:
    New York, NY
    To be honest, I can't believe you played with such dead balls and didn't just open another new can. In fact, we were playing casual doubles last week (4.5-5.0 players) and a new can that we opened was "slightly" dead and I quickly suggested we open another can. What's the point in playing with dead balls?

    What level was your opponent that he didn't notice really dead balls?
     
    #2
  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,160
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    I would have opened up a new can (I have done this a couple of times).

    What brand and model were these dead balls? I have seen some dead cans of premium balls (US Open balls). Sometimes the can has lost its pressure -- the balls will not keep their pressure if this is the case. If the unopened can feels soft or the can does not make a hissing sound when first opened, the balls will probably be dead.
     
    #3
  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    7,021
    Jay,

    That was purely your own problem and not his. So, whether you should have spoken up or not was your own responsibility. I guess after this, you'll learn to speak up more.

    About ball, aside from "completely dead", I absolutely don't mind to play with less than perfect balls. In fact I prefer them over only 3 new balls. People tend to open only 1 can whereas you can usually play with 5, 7 balls that have been used, if both parties agree. I get more annoyed about having to retrieve a rolled-away ball and slowing down than playing with abundant slightly used balls. hehe
     
    #4
  5. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,675
    are you sure you weren't using Quick Start balls?
     
    #5
  6. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    9,466
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, this happened to me playing in a friendly tournament. I go to grab a can of balls (Dunlop) and I get to the court and before I opened the balls, I could actually squeeze the can in. They were completely dead in the tube as well. Had to walk back and get another can. Since then I haven't bought Dunlops, not just because of that incident, but I just never really liked them all that much. I prefer Wilson or Penn balls.
     
    #6
  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,216
    I would have opened a new can. The dude probably knew what he was doing, no one is that stupid unless it's the first time they've ever played. It was part of his win at any cost attitude, he was probably looking forward to reporting the scores to the local newspaper.

    Whatever game you guys were playing wasn't tennis. Never buy balls at a drugstore, they're always dead, cost twice as much and are an off-model only people who play once a year use.
     
    #7
  8. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    870
    Location:
    On the deuce side, looking to come in
    I opened a can of dead ones for a USTA match once. We were the home team and responsible for providing them. Gosh was I embarrassed since I didn't have a second new can in my bag. Luckily, my opponent did and graciously offered to open hers. I offered to reimburse her for them; she politely refused.

    Lesson learned: I always carry two new cans for a singles match or make sure my partner has an extra one if we're playing doubles.
     
    #8
  9. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,629
    Just squeze your cans before you get your stuff ready (if you're a woman this may have unintended meaning). It is so easy to tell if a can is stil pressurized or not.

    OP - You should have spoken up ... whether or not the provider of the balls wanted dead balls for his game or not it doesn't matter ... shouldn't ever have to play a league or tournament match with dead balls.
     
    #9
  10. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    870
    Location:
    On the deuce side, looking to come in
    LOL. Yep...do that. Did that. That can had pressure and everything....even the hiss when I opened it in front of the opponent. But there's no doubt they were DOA.
     
    #10
  11. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,200
    Location:
    DE
    If I could get away with it I would open new balls every 7 games ... no way I would play with balls that flat ... it just is not worth it.

    And I would definitely prefer to pay with 3 new balls than 6 gently used ones.
     
    #11
  12. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,531
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    always keep an extra can or 2 ready, even if you are the visiting team. ya just never know...
     
    #12
  13. tiebraek

    tiebraek New User

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Some balls have really low bounce and people who hit all flat usually like them.I had complaints for people who thought the balls I was using were too lively.. too light... or too heavy and they wanted to open another can. a good rule to know that the balls are dead is to squeeze them.
     
    #13
  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,924
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Agree with dizz. Balls are just not that expensive (at least here - I can get them for $2 a can at the local warehouse store). Compared with the other costs involved in playing, that's not bad. Just not worth playing with flat balls.

    Also would prefer to play with 3 new balls rather than >3 used. Heck, I'd rather player with 3 new balls versus 6 new balls! I find that 3 is plenty. Any more and it get's hard for me to track where they all are anyway. If I was going to use 6 new balls, I'd open one can first, and then the second can to replace the first for the second set.
     
    #14
  15. jaybear1909

    jaybear1909 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Georgia
    They were Wilson 4s and I can't imagine him not knowing they were dead.

    And Orange, cans here are $3.25 or so; comparable to a tank of gas. Unless you get them at Rite Aid :p.
     
    #15
  16. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,307
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I would not hesitate to walk to my bag, pop a new can, then toss them over to the opponent to inspect and compare with the dead rock balls.
     
    #16
  17. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    tbh I play with deadish balls in practice quite a bit, if it was really bothering you just bring it up with the other guy
     
    #17
  18. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    7,207
    jaybear
    $3.25 for a tank of gas? I'm moving to Georgia!
     
    #18
  19. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,013
    I wouldn't have gotten through 2 rallies in warm up without stopping to ask if something was defective and having a discussion.

    The game is frustrating enough when the ball bounces right. No sense making it tougher with a no bounce ball.
     
    #19
  20. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,216
    #20
  21. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Take them back to where you bought them and get a refund.
     
    #21
  22. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    305
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Doubt that's an option after they played 2 full sets with them.
     
    #22
  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,160
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Have never come across dead balls in a pressurized can. Were they cheap balls? Training or practice-grade balls? The pressure in the can should be close to 2 atm (30 lbs/sq in). If the can pressure was only 1.4 atm or so, the can might still feel somewhat firm and the will even hiss when first opened but the balls may have lost enough pressure to lose a significant amount of bounce.

    In the future, make sure that you are using Championship balls or better (altho' I love the Wilson US Open balls, I am not a fan of the Wilson Championship balls) and be sure that the new can is very firm.


    Can't get a gallon for $3.25 here, much less a tank of gas. (We are paying about a dollar more a gallon in these here parts).

    What are Wilson 4s? Is that Wilson Championships or Wilson US Open balls with the number 4 on it? Or was it something cheaper, like a practice ball?
     
    #23
  24. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Oops, I only skimmed the thread.
     
    #24
  25. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,924
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I've had dead balls upon opening a pressurized can. Like you say, it can happen that pressure in the can is lower than optimal, and then even though you get a hiss when opening, the balls can be soft. And it's hard to test the firmness of individual cans when buying a case. Very rarely there's a bad can. On the plus side, buying by the case means <=$2 per can.

    Based on the OPs description, I assume the balls were Wilson Championship. The number 4 is meaningless and is just a way to differenciate balls from those used on other courts.
     
    #25
  26. tennisee

    tennisee Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Australia.
    A old guy did this to me when I was new to comp tennis. In my comp we use 4 ball cans and you only get 2 to play with, so I did not see him open the can. He must have opened it about a week before and left them sitting there; they were unplayed but dead. It's a comp on grass - so a dead ball does NOT come up off the court, which makes it almost impossible to hit topspin and favours the dinkers and slicers (this old guy). Because I was green I let it pass, but I wouldn't let it happen these days.
     
    #26
  27. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.
    Happened to me a couple of seasons ago. It was an away match on a very cold, windy day. The home team popped the can as I was standing there, so I knew it was a new can. Those balls had no bounce at all. Out of the four of us on the court, I was the only one that complained, so another can was never opened.

    I got destroyed. I could not adapt to no bounce. I'd get caught waiting for the ball to bounce and it just wouldn't happen. I was late for everything. Really taught me a lesson.

    I figure the guy that had these probably left them in the trunk of his car overnight or something and that just killed the balls. I've had other balls that weren't great right out of the can, but these were horrible.

    There were Penn Championship balls.
     
    #27
  28. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida
    A lot of people keep their tennis balls in the trunk of their car for months. In the hotter months, this seems to deaden the balls over time.
     
    #28
  29. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,644
    Location:
    Baseline
    This happened to me last night for the first time. Picked up a fresh can to hit with my son. Immediately noticed the can felt soft instead of hard. No swoosh noise when I popped the tab.

    Balls were mostly dead...not Totally Dead as Billy Crystal might say...just Mostly Dead but with no hope of coming back like The Dread Pirate Roberts.
     
    #29
  30. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    2 guys I play with have the penn balls with read lettering....more than once these have been DOA upon opening. I'd never buy them.

    MY club uses Dunlop Grand Prix balls, and in about 70 matches using them, there has been 1 dead can.
     
    #30
  31. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    The ones with red lettering are clay-court balls.
     
    #31
  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,360
    Another reason to carry a spare can . . . The dreaded defective aluminum top. You know, the little pop top breaks off before you can get the can open, and now you have to do surgery to get the can open.

    I once had a teammate cut herself so badly trying to perform tennis ball can surgery that I thought we would have to retire before the match started. She managed to get the bleeding stopped and bandaged, but she had to change the bandage a few times during the match.

    Better to just pull out a second can, open it carefully, and work on the other can later at home when you have some tools more suitable for the job than your car keys.
     
    #32
  33. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,924
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Everyone should have a swiss army knife or equivalent in their bag - really comes in handy. Helps open defective cans, good for cutting bandages / overgrips, good for cutting out strings after string breakage, and most importantly, ensures you always have a bottle-opener handy for those refreshing post-match beverages :)
     
    #33
  34. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    589
    This forum really should have a LIKE Button!
     
    #34
  35. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I've played several guys in the last year who buy the cheap regular duty Penns and they are dead out of the can. I've broken 2 Penn balls during a match this year too.


    I cut myself on a can before a junior tournament. Blood everywhere.


    Love my swiss army knife. I don't leave home without it.
     
    #35
  36. the green god

    the green god Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    496
    Were you playing at Wimbledon?:)
     
    #36
  37. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,160
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    The red label Penn balls may have been sitting on the shelf or in storage for quite a while. I don't know if the quality control on the red label Champs is any different than the black label Champs. I have used the red label version quite a few times and have never seen them DOA.

    For Penn Championship balls (black label) , in general, I have noticed something interesting about quality control for quite a few years now. It seems that 2 balls in the can are pretty much the same quality. There is almost always one ball that is somewhat substandard. It is either a cosmetic reject (slight blemish or lettering misalignment) or the ball does not bounce quite as high as the other 2 balls from the same can.

    For the latter case (substandard bounce), I try to hide that ball from the other players on the court so that it does not get put into play until the 2 good balls have lost some of their bounce (usually by the 2nd set).

    I agree that the Dunlop Grand Prix balls are excellent balls. They are very bright and have a good consistent bounce. The quality control appears to be quite good. They feel a bit stiffer/harder than Wilson and Penn balls. Penn Championship balls appear to be the softest (even the extra duty balls) -- which, along with their cheaper price, may be why they are popular with many players.



    The red label Penn balls that are seen in the US (and perhaps elsewhere) are regular duty balls rather than the more common extra duty balls. The ads I've seen indicate that they can be used for either clay or hard courts. I believe that many WTA events use the red Penn Championship balls. Penn Champs seem to go soft quicker than other balls (even the extra duty version). The regular duty balls might not last quite as long as the extra duty, but since they open more than one can and change them every nine games, this is not much of an issue for WTA tournaments.
     
    #37
  38. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Never been a Penn fan until I used the Marathon balls 2 weeks ago. Those are really good. Bright and they fuzz up less than other Penns.
     
    #38
  39. jaybear1909

    jaybear1909 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Georgia
    I drive the most efficient car in all the land.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
    #39
  40. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,160
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    How does the new ProPenn Marathon compare to the Penn ATP ball? I do like the ATP ball but am not a fan of the Penn Championship ball. The later is somewhat better than the Wilson Championship (but not as good as the Wilson US Open, a premium ball). I prefer the ATP ball to the standard ProPenn balls.

    For a high-end recreational (Championship) ball, I'll usually go with the Dunlop Championship or the Prince Championship ball. (Actually, not played with the Prince Champ very much but the Prince Tour is one of my favorites)

    On cold nights, the Dunlop, Wilson and Prince balls feel a bit too hard. This is one time when the Penn Champs are ok in my book -- since they are softer than the other brands.
     
    #40
  41. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida

    The Penn ATP ball is fine. I feel neutral about it. Nothing special but no real weaknesses. The Marathon is brighter and seems to have a better bounce. Agreed that Penn does make the softest balls because of all the fuzz.
     
    #41
  42. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,216
    Regarding balls, I've given up almost, I buy the the generic Penns what-ever they are's--except I buy the 4 ball cans because that way each ball get's 25% less wear and they might last for two sets. Four balls also makes the game move along faster because you're spending less time roaming the far reaches of the universe picking up balls and when gets hit into the briar patch, you still have three balls to play with and when the match next door hits one of theirs into the briar patch and they ask you to borrow one of your's, because they know you have four, you still have three.

    What really gets to me and reaffirms my faith in the randomness and stupidity of the universe is when the cheap-skate who NEVER brings a ball, *****s about the extra ball, that it confuses them--F-them--moron. They are the same ones who after playing for an hour and a half, with someone else's balls, (usually mine), don't know what number or brand they are. When I ask them what is so confusing about having an extra ball, they can't say--they are OCD.

    I am interested in trying the new ProPen Marathons, out of curiosity but will stick with the meidocore costco penns, to appease the lowest common denominators and avoid "issues". I do keep a sleeve of Dunlop Grand Prix in the dark recesses of my bag in case I have an encounter with a discerning player, and for extra special occasions like playing on grass, I have stashed in a hidden vault a four ball steel sleeve of Slazenger Wimbledons.
     
    #42
  43. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,160
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^ I prefer 4 ball cans as well - tho' I'd take the Dunlop Champs over the Penn Champs. However, I use US Open more than anything else -- have not seen them in a 4-ball can.

    I don't have any opportunities to play on grass, but the Slazenger Wimbledon ball is still my favorite (when I can get it). It performs well on harcourts and is the brightest ball I've come across. The Dunlop Grand Prix would be the next brightest followed by the US Open, Penn ATP, and Prince Tour.


    Not sure that it is the felt that is responsible for the softer feel of the Penn Champ balls. US Open balls which feel a bit harder (but not quite as hard as Dunlops), tends to fluff up more than the Penn Champs. This tendency to fluff up is seen when hitting with players who hit a lot of fast, flat and backspin balls that skid on the bounce (quite a bit more than topspin balls).

    I suspect that it might possibly be the stiffness of the rubber that is responsible for the softer feel. It could also be that the internal pressure is slightly less than other brands. Or it could be a combination of factors.

    According to the ITF web site, the internal gauge pressure of a pressurized tennis ball can be 11-14 psi (zero-referenced against ambient air pressure).

    http://www.itftennis.com/technical/questions/index.asp#2
     
    #43
  44. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    870
    Location:
    On the deuce side, looking to come in
    ^^ I hate the 4-ball cans.

    Keeping up with that fourth ball can be a royal pain. Three balls works just fine: two to the server and one to either your partner (in doubles) or one to your sole opponent (in singles).

    Maybe it's a guy/gal thing. Guys clothes have pockets, and usually deep ones. Us gals are lucky if our stuff has pockets at all. /end soap box rant
     
    #44
  45. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida

    It certainly could be the rubber. Been having better luck this year with US Open balls not fluffing up as much in the past.
     
    #45
  46. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    571
    i use wilson balls the black ones specifically. i feel penn balls lose their juice to quickly.


    as for ops questions, your not a jerk if you want to open a new can and say "these balls feel dead i am going to open up a can". if you insist the other person opens a new can then obviously that is more confrontational. but i think very few people would object to you opening a can up or even be that offended by it.
     
    #46
  47. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Get Sten's RacquetTune app for the iPhone. It also has a ball measurement app to determine if the bounce is legal.
     
    #47
  48. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,013
    Agreed. I really like the US Open regular duty on clay right now. Also had a chance to play with the Babolat RG balls and bought a few cans afterward. Once these get USTA approval, they'll probably be my preferred ball.
     
    #48
  49. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    20,890
    Location:
    Central Florida

    The US Open regular duty balls are my "go to" ones right now. If they ever sell the Marathons in a store close to me, I would probably switch. Have heard Babolat is good but they are a little more expensive.
     
    #49
  50. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,160
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Why not just leave the 4th ball (or even the 3rd ball) at the back of the court or at the net (out of the way)? Don't see a problem. Don't really like sticking balls in my pocket when playing. The benefits of 4 balls outweighs the drawback.


    Perhaps it's the people you are playing with. I only notice the tendency to fluff when playing against certain ppl. It might be that the extra duty (which I use) has a much greater tendency that the standard duty (which I rarely see around here).
     
    #50

Share This Page