Need advice on new cans of balls

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jakemcclain32, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,228
    I had a match early this morning, and we took the balls out of the can. They had enough bounce, but they felt hard as hell.

    Admittedly, it helped my groundstrokes a bit, but it didn't feel right that the balls were so hard. Most of the time, I'm airmailing my first couple of shots.

    How hard, or soft, should balls be coming right out of the can?
     
    #1
  2. The Wreck

    The Wreck Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    767
    Depends on the ball. Wilson Titaniums: hard as a rock. Penn Tributes: squeezable after about 3 shots.

    For the record, I don't know what "good" tennis balls feel like, because I'm too cheap to buy anything but the sub-$2.00 cans.
     
    #2
  3. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,972
    Hold the ball out, even with your forehead, and drop it. If it bounces to your belly button, it's good.
     
    #3
  4. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,866
    Location:
    At Large
    I think the cheap balls play really out of the can, they just don't last very long and will go dead in under a set for hard hitters. For me, the standard is Wilson US Open Regular Duty.

    My club switched to Pro Penn Marathon Extra Duty balls for the spring/summer and I hate them. Over the indoor season I think we were using Penn ATPs and there is a noticeable difference. The marathon XDs play hard as a rock and are slightly heavier (I think due to thicker walls) and the cover is denser and doesn't have any grab do it.
     
    #4
  5. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,228
    Well, as I said, it did help my groundstrokes a bit because I could set my shot up, but neither of us could generate a net game because we netted more drop shots than we got over. Just too heavy.

    So for anyone here, what are the best balls out there by far? Price doesn't matter. I don't want to deal with those again.
     
    #5
  6. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    It is completely acceptable, both morally and rules-wise, to offer to open a can of balls for a match and have them fit your game perfectly.
     
    #6
  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,739
    Duulop Grand Prix & Slazenger Wimbledon.
     
    #7
  8. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,973
    Location:
    S. FL/Maine
    Penn ATP, no doubt.
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    On our WestCoast cement courts, Wilsons die after 10 games, Penns maybe 16, and Dunlops can last thru 2 extended sets easily.
    Hard balls are great for hard hitters. I like them rock hard and heavy. And I use a 10 oz racket! Crush the ball, it stays IN, the opponent barely floats it back, just the way I like to play tennis.
     
    #9
  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,108
    I always buy Wilson US Open as they bounce the highest and give me the hardest time on the backhand, thus making it more challenging. I then store the used ones in a ball compressor. I will use my last 3 for a fourth time on Friday.
     
    #10
  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Maybe that's why I HATE Wilson balls so much....
    They bounce high, they go fast, and rallies don't last 3 shots.
    Give me heavy, hard, slow balls anytime. The rallies still don't last past 4 shots, but at least I can get a realistic idea of my ball speeds.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,108
    Wilson balls give me a realistic picture of playing Nadal due to the high bounce
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I guess it's a question of half full or half empty...
    I have played in tournaments using Wilson balls where my serve is right there at the top of 5.5 levels, and also played tourneys where they spec'd Dunlop balls and my serves are average at best, worse on placments.
    So my reality is that of an old fart. Dunlops tell me I can return almost ANYbody's serve, including 5.5's, but also that my serve is pretty much ineffective at 4+ levels.
    Wilson shows my mortality returning big serves, and also shows I can still hit the same big serves against them.
    Question of, is it 6, or is it half a dozen?
     
    #13
  14. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    5,545
    Whenever I see a competitor pull out a can of the cheap Penn or Wilson Championship balls I tell him not to bother. They are like playing with ping pong balls. Why tournaments continue to use those cheap POS balls is beyond me. I would gladly pay an extra 5 bucks at a tourney just so that we could play with some decent balls. I prefer the Wilson US Opens or Penn ATPs. At least they have a little substance to them so that you can actually feel the ball when you hit it, instead of that feeling of hitting a cream puff that you are afraid is going to fly into the night every time you go for a winner.
     
    #14
  15. texacali

    texacali Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    229
    Never thought about how ball selection may affect game. I tend to use Dunlop, which to me seems heavier, and in my last match I seemd to lose all control. Come to think of it, the team we played brought Wilsons. Really had no sense or feel for my shots...hit hard, and it flew. Hit soft, and came up short (overly conscious of not trying to hit too hard).
     
    #15
  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,701
    Location:
    Central Florida

    If you are playing well, the ball does not matter. I just can't stand the ones that are flat out of the can. The cheap Penns are notorious for this. If they are pressurized, the play OK. Still wish they would bounce a tiny bit more.
     
    #16
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I'd hate to think what my kick serve would do in 90 degree heat, using WilsonChamp ball. It would make for 2 shot tennis points. Plenty of jmisses, followed by a few clean winners.
     
    #17
  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,739
    Prince Tour ball is good too.
     
    #18
  19. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,228
    Ok, so another piece of advice I could use.

    I now know what to do if I play with hard tennis balls, especially on my forehand. But what do I do if I get springy ones? How do I alter the shot? If I try to blister the sucker, I'll Sammy Sosa that sucker over the fence.

    What's the best strategy for the springy ones?
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Springy ones, more topspin.
     
    #20
  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,701
    Location:
    Central Florida

    You might actually get it above my knees. :twisted:
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    You know, you might be right.
    I mentioned I play about once a week.
    On my 2 previous second serves wide to the duece court, I hit the nettape, the ball bounced up, and back to my side, for 2 DF's. I just confused my swingpath, using a cross topslice swing instead of the normal upand out.
    So finally, up and out, the ball hit 7' short of the service line, hopped to the side fencing, and got there just before the returner's racket, which hit the sidefence....OBSTRUCTION! :):) No, he didn't call it. Instead, he said it was over his head. Peter is 5'8", portly but does get there.
    One out of 3 is pretty bad. I don't hit that serve much on ad court, being a lefty, it doesn't give me enough court for an effective twist.
     
    #22
  23. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    209
    It doesn't matter to me what we play with as long as they aren't dead (low bounce). If someone opens up a new can of balls for a match, whatever brand they are, as long as they adhere to ITF standards, then it's a fair game. As tennis players, we must contend with the wind, the sun, our opponent's wicked spin serve, and ALL brands of tennis balls. It's part of the game.
     
    #23
  24. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    840
    I play with a friend about once a week. It is funny how different the scorelines are when he brings the penn balls and when I bring the wilson/Slazenger balls.

    One of the biggest issues with my game is lack of knee bend. I net so many of his low bouncing penn balls and have real fun with wilson/Slazenger. The penn sets are close, last Slazenger session was 6-0 6-1 for me. I don't point this out lest he thinks I am making excuses and not giving him credit for those close sets. (for the record, I have never lost in best of 3 against him)

    I like to pretend I am playing on retro grass with those low bouncing balls just to cheer myself up :)

    And yes, he makes me play at 7:30 am sometimes when I have gone to bed at 2:00 am. (get good b/w on MW3 after midnight)

    So types of balls and amount of sleep are the two factors that I have found affect my game quite a bit :)
     
    #24
  25. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,212
    What about your slice serve........


    In the AD you use the slice to the T which is why lefties should be in a league of there own:)
     
    #25
  26. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,130
    Interesting that High Altitude balls (reduced pressure to compensate) are the opposite of regular balls. The Penns bounce significantly higher than the Wilson Championship. The U.S. Open High Altitudes are in-between. In the colder months, I only use Penn balls, since it can be hard to get any bounce if it is cold. In the summer I'll use Wilson or Dunlop. The Dunlop is heavier.
     
    #26
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    "ad court slice to the T"....
    Odd, I never use that one.
    I slice wide or into the body on ad court. When I need a second serve up the middle, it's pure topspin, no kick or slice. I feel if I slice up the T, it just goes into the righties strikezone.
    Who knows, maybe I should try it.
     
    #27

Share This Page