Popularity and quality of tennis balls (by brand)

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by Davis937, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    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!
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    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.
     
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  3. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    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
     
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  4. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  5. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  6. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

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    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.
     
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  7. Storm_Kyori

    Storm_Kyori Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  8. ms87

    ms87 Rookie

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    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.
     
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  9. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    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.
     
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  10. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    ... 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.
     
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  11. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    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:

    [​IMG]
     
    #11
  12. joesucks

    joesucks New User

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    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.
     
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  13. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  14. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Davies.... your friends are pansies! Dunlops are the heaviest, and need a real man to whip them around. :twisted::twisted:
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  17. dbusiness

    dbusiness Rookie

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    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.
     
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  18. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Dunlops!! Though most used are Penn.

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

    fps Legend

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    i use slazenger ultra vis wimbledon balls. love them more than the other balls i've tried, head, dunlop etc.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Post 2 and 18 support each other..... :):)
    I'm one month from 61, always bring Dunlops, use DunlopMfil and Aero 200's 18x20.
     
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  21. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I'm no expert on balls (thankfully), but Slazenger Wimbledon's are the best I've used, followed closely by Wilson Us Open.
     
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  22. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    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.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    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....:):)
     
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  24. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    ... 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!
     
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  25. TNT16

    TNT16 Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  26. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    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.
     
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  27. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    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.
     
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  29. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Never tried Slazengers. Dont think I ever will with that kind of $$$
     
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  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  31. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    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.
     
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  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    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
    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
    #32
  33. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Has anyone tried the Championship balls from Prince and Gamma? How do they compare to the Champs from Dunlop, Penn (Head), & Wilson.
     
    #33
  34. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    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.
     
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  35. Ambivalent

    Ambivalent Hall of Fame

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    Wilson's are the best for flat hitters.
     
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  36. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    ... 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*!
     
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  37. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  38. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    Yes, I love these balls, I usually use them when I play.
     
    #38
  39. Xenakis

    Xenakis Hall of Fame

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    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.)
     
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  40. joesucks

    joesucks New User

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    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.
     
    #40
  41. Toland

    Toland New User

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    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
     
    #41
  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Costco -- I mean Penn -- balls.

    If my friends don't like it, *they* can provide the balls.
     
    #42
  43. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    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).
     
    #43
  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I saw the Slazenger Wimbledons at a big box store here locally. I plan to try them in the next few months.
     
    #44
  45. GinoGinelli

    GinoGinelli Rookie

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    £3.99 for 4 in sports direct. I buy slaz or dunlop, wilsons wear out in half the time
     
    #45
  46. keepurpowderdry

    keepurpowderdry Rookie

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    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.
     
    #46
  47. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^

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

    keepurpowderdry Rookie

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    Yep..

    I personaly like the penn's the best though ..
     
    #48
  49. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    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?
     
    #49
  50. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    ... 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 ...
     
    #50

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