Dead Balls Just Kill Me

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by slowfox, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    One of my regular partners likes using dead balls when we play. He usually says they're "still pretty good". Even if I offer to open a new can, we still end up using the dead ones (he doesn't like the brand I prefer). And every time this happens I end up playing like crap. Yes, it's mainly because I normally play like crap :) but the dead balls make me crappier. I just can't get any rhythm going. After we play I feel like giving up tennis forever.

    Dead balls suck..!!
     
    #1
  2. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    If it is a big enough issue for you then buy cans of his preferred brand and use those.

    -SF
     
    #2
  3. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Any brand I bring he "doesn't like"... lol. I think there's some sort of gamesmanship going on with him... haha
     
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  4. Chace

    Chace Semi-Pro

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    Whatever brand the dead balls are that he/she uses just try bringing a new can of those the next time you 2 play.
     
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  5. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    why even bother with him?
    obviously he's no fun or serious to play with.
    case closed.
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have a guy who brings cheap Penn balls whenever it is his turn. He goes by ssgator80 on the boards.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I find lots of weaker hitters, but superior fetchers, like to use dead or old balls for singles matches.
    Seldom have I ever experienced a big hitter who brought heavy slow balls, or wanted to use older balls which are soft.
    Me, I must not hit hard, because I prefer the heaviest ball around here, the DunlopHDHardCourtChamp balls, which are much heavier and knappier than Penns or those Wilson flyers.
     
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  8. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Which ball are those?

    -SF
     
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  9. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    If you wanna get good at tennis you have to use fresh balls. Balls that are flat or fuzzless just dont perform the same as a new ball regardless of brand. Any new ball is better than an old ball.

    Using flat balls for drills is fine. If you're going to rally, play points, or play games you have to use a fresh can.

    Serves, groundies and the like are much more lively with fresh balls.
     
    #9
  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Penn Championship regular duty. After a set, they look like somebody put them in a clothes dryer.
     
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  11. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I have a particular hitting partner who usually plays with newer tennis balls, but on days where we are stuck with mixed condition balls he doesn't seem aware enough to make adjustments. So when I see the flat (and usually darker) ball I push him back with topspin groundstroke and then follow up with drop shots or low slices :twisted: and it gets him most of the time. lol. You could probably give your opponent the same kind of troubles.

    Seriously though, if you hate flat balls just bring a can of new ones next time and proceed to pop it open, when he says "I don't like playing with ____" reply with "Well I don't like playing with flat balls" the least you could get away with is mixing the old and new ones so at least half aren't flat. Then just don't use the old ones when you can help it, like when its your turn to serve. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
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  12. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Ummm, why does the OP allow this?? Are you unable to man-up and just say "look, we have some used balls here and some new balls here, we're going to use the new ones. My treat." HE doesn't like the brand you bring?? Oh. Well you don't like what he brings! If you were sharpfox instead of slowfox, you'd just bring a brand that's okay with him, as then he'll have no excuse at all for not playing with new balls.
     
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  13. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Unfortunately I'm *slow*. :)

    Last two times we that we played with new ones was a while ago. Both times I won, something like 2 and love. Ever since then it's been dead ball city. Next time out I'm gonna bring a grab bag selection of new balls.
     
    #13
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is the revenge of the balls. You can make them dead and then not expect them to kill you.
     
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  15. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    lol..I cant believe you guys play sets with those things.
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    ^ They are dreadful.
     
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  17. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    There you go.... he is faster than you & knows he can drop shot you & angle you to make you miss hit it or give a floater back.

    You should at least alternate balls or insist on playing newer balls, tennis is not about playing with old, dead, lifeless balls... it not even the same game (tell him they change to new balls in real matches mid match after starting with new balls).

    P.S. If you live in Vancouver , Canada hit me up.... I would love for you to bring some fresh balls before we play every time ;-)
     
    #17
  18. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I think most people play with people who like the dead and fuzz less balls. They are the ones who say, "no, don't open a new can, these are still good!"... then they show you the drop test... holding the balls at shoulder height and dropping them to show you they still bounce as they say "see, these are still good, they only have a couple sets on them."

    My reply as I pop open a new can, much to their dismay is, "nah, we're good enough for new balls... put those back in your bag for practice." They'll grumble and mumble, and once in a while I'll go along with their little game... but once a can is popped open, there isn't much they can argue about.
     
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  19. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I actually have a question about this...

    I've noticed that "Penn Championship Extra-Duty" balls come in two varieties. One is a brighter, softer green color and one is a little more dull and more crisp. I want to say that the duller, crispier ones are exact copies of the Wilson championship balls but are rebranded with the Penn name.

    I actually made it a point to compare them both... and AFAIK they are the labeled the same thing, except they're clearly different.

    Does anyone know whats up with that?

    Arnt those "regular duty" balls fine for clay and other softer surfaces like very smooth courts, grass courts ect?
     
    #19
  20. tvu

    tvu New User

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    Where I play, it's the norm to rally with old balls - even warm up serves with old balls. Then new balls are opened, and the 1st point is played brand new balls - never been hit. It takes a few games to dial it back because it's just flying like mad. If I had my way - open new cans at the very beginning of each outing - doesn't matter if you are drilling or will be rallying/playing matches.
     
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  21. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    I hate new balls. I prefer deader ones. Not completely dead. New ones are way to poppy sometimes. Have to really pull back on my game.
     
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  22. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    I prefer tennis balls that are well-used but still lively. E.g., recently opened, but already used for a couple of sets. They're easier on the arm and actually faster.
     
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  23. EDK

    EDK Rookie

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    Same thing happened to me in a ladder match. Guy wanted to warm up with old balls, then start the match with new ones. Not sure if he wanted to preserve the life of the balls just for match play. I wonder what the pros do for their warm up...use new balls? Then proceed with those into the first set?
     
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  24. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Even if you're nice enough to overlook all of your hitting partner's reasons for using dead balls, you can't overlook the following reason:

    Dead balls are health hazards on the court.
     
    #24
  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Pros warm up with the same balls they play with. After the first 7 games, they change balls and after that they change balls every 9 games.
     
    #25
  26. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    +1

    How are balls used a few sets easier on the arm? Balls lose bounce/rebound during use. You have to swing harder to get the ball to he same location each successive set.

    Further, how are used balls faster? You could argue hairless balls fly faster (plausible as far as aerodynamics) but they don't bounce as well (return energy) so are slower.

    Dead balls are not reliable. There will ba a greater variance in play between a handfull of balls that have been pounded for days compared to a new can.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
    #26
  27. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    There's a lot of fails there.

    1) If it's well-used then it ain't lively anymore.
    2) They're not "recently opened" after a couple of sets.
    3) They're not easier on the arm because of the false sense of "I can hit as hard as I want and it won't fly out".

    But they may be faster due to the fact that they don't bounce. If I know I'm playing with dead balls, I'll run around all of my forehands and use my backhand slice instead.
     
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  28. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Dead balls are rough. I play a guy who is just too cheap to stop using them...after warm ups I pop a can, and he is cool with that...he doesn't have to pay for them!
     
    #28
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Set play, you should warmup and hit half your rallies with old balls, switching to new ones 3 minutes before the first scored point begins.
    OR, you can just start with new balls, but be aware by the end of a long second set, the balls are crap.
    Just rallying, makes less difference, but if you're about even with your partner/opponent, it's worth opening new balls for the whole hit.
     
    #29
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    In Europe they tend to really wear them out before going to new balls.
     
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  31. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Our indoor courts eat Balls alive. Penn Marathon Extra Duty, (my favorite ball) are the only ones actually usable for more then 2 sets. Any non extra duty balls are dead by the end of the first set it seems.

    -Fuji
     
    #31
  32. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I hate old balls. I've never played 4.0 or 4.5 league, but I can only wonder how terrible the balls are by the time you reach halfway into the second set. I definitely notice a lack of action on my serves and my forehands look a lot less lively even after one set of play.

    I'm also not opening 5 cans of balls per week so I dont complain about it.

    If I had my way, id use a new can off balls for every set lol.
     
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  33. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Yep, old balls don't work well.
     
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  34. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    new can every set??? boy you guys are spoiled!
    i can usually feel the balls getting out of touch only after 5-6 hours.
     
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  35. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    If I had my way and, it wasnt me opening a new can every single time, I would use new balls every set.

    After 5 sets (5-6 "hours" of competitive play) you really start to notice the ball not being nearly as "lively" and it starts feeling a little more "squishy". I suppose on clay the ball lasts a lot longer, but on hard court, one set really is enough.

    I can play with totally flat balls just like you can drive with totally flat tires. Your car just wont handle the same.
     
    #35
  36. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Target sells balls for $2.09 a can, so for me its worth opening a new can whenever I feel the balls are getting too old.

    I used to play with some older guys in the park on Sunday afternoons. They loved to bring out some of the oldest balls they had in their bag. Harder for me to use my power advantage and old balls are easier to control for a pusher. Drop shots are very effective. I never let on that I knew they were using dead balls and they always had fun.
     
    #36
  37. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^^The old guy at the local courts who is actually a pretty decent player, is very picky about using new balls because with his limited mobility, he'd never get to drop shots with dead balls. Sadly, ppl there know he has very limited forwards/backwards movement and have no shame attempting hit drop shots against him very often.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
    #37
  38. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Lol

    I play this Thai lady and she is always switching out my new balls for her old balls..now I know why.

    I am the BKK 3.0 equivalent of Raconic and they cant return my serve or my hard forehands but they are better tennis players so the slow balls gives them the advantage. ...and they use dead balls, as in the balls have been used for three months every day.
     
    #38
  39. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Use it against them, hit them a couple of drop shots and slice to their backhands if you know how to hit a skidding slice. I always do that to my hitting partner if we have a flat ball in the mix. He's the fastest player I hit against and even he can't get to drop shots with dead balls.
     
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  40. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Why is this?
     
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  41. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    People who are scared of using new balls = chumps. Using new balls often is an important element in actually improving your strokes.

    I use a new set almost every time I play - although I play on plexi-cushion most of the time which wears balls out like no tomorrow so there's little choice. After a 90 mins or maybe 2 hrs they're pretty much done.

    To the OP. If you want to trump your hitting partner's desire to use old ball, as others have suggested already, just open a new can before you meet him. Then when you meet him say "I've already opened them, we may as well us them now." issue sorted
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
    #41
  42. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Because dead balls dont really travel through the court, and because it doesn't really bounce, whatever spin you impart is largely nullified.

    So it gives you the sense that you're not hitting the ball, and encourages you to hit harder than you really should, leading to fatigue and overuse injuries.
     
    #42
  43. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I do not understand NOT using new balls. When using dead ones, how is that practicing?
     
    #43
  44. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Also wanted to point out:

    I see getting new tennis balls as a price I pay to play. My arm definitely enjoys hitting fresh cans rather then old ones, and let's face it. 5 bucks a can, is a lot cheaper then months of physio due to arm problems! :) (That being said, I use a new can every time I play a match. The way our ruling works is "Whoever books the court, doesn't provide the balls. I rarely book courts, so I do buy a lot of cans LOL!)

    -Fuji
     
    #44
  45. bhallic24

    bhallic24 Guest


    EXACTLY right. Got a guy just like that. HE always always wants to use dead balls and I play ****tty but when we use bouncier balls, I kill him.
     
    #45
  46. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Did you ever say, "Hey Thai Lady, what's up with you hiding my new balls and using those you bought in 1969?" Seems to be a very underhanded. I think you guys could compromise by using dead balls one day and new ones the next. Each of you get your way half the time.
     
    #46
  47. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    I seem to be buying a lot of cans with dead/flat balls these days.

    Has anyone noticed this?

    How can you tell how fresh a can is? How long before they go dead in the can?
     
    #47
  48. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I had a can of Dunlops with a dead ball right off the bat, same with Slazenger (I've gotten entire dead cans of Slaz the last few months) and I believe it has to do with the way they are sealed. Most of the time, the can isn't making the full "FSHHHHHHHH" sound when I open them, it's a very subtle "fsh" and I have a feeling that it has something to do with it. It's probably very easily explainable but I don't know the specifics. Now I just check to make sure the can is fully sealed, with full pressure before I buy. :) How I check is by squeezing the tube, if it's a plastic container, because if they are "factory fresh" it will literally be hard as stone I find. If it's a bit squishy, I put that one back.

    -Fuji
     
    #48
  49. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    ^^ thanks Fuji, good idea!
     
    #49
  50. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    You're welcome! :D

    -Fuji
     
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