Thoughts on Tennis Balls:an Australian Perspective

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by JSouza, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. JSouza

    JSouza New User

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    There are many threads out there reviewing and discussing tennis balls, and a lot of the info in those threads is very useful so a general thank you. What is posted here is actually helpful to a lot of people.
    But here in Australia, its kinda unbelievable how much we have to pay for tennis balls. I hear guys talking about buying cans of Penns from Walmart for $2. For any level of quality, that is ridiculous to me.
    Here you pay, for a 4 ball can at 95% of retailers a minimum of $10.
    Does anyone know why there is that price differential? It isnt 1975; almost no balls are manufactured in the USA. They are made in China. And so the shipping costs to the US are if anything greater than those encountered when shipping to Australia.
    I'd love to see some downward pressure on the prices of tennis stuff (inc apparel and shoes: barricades can cost $185 or more here).
    Also, I've bought almost every single type of tennis ball available here. Including of course, the Slazengers that have a the tag of being the best in Aus. And there is no argument: Penns hold their bounce the longest and play the best.
     
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  2. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    Totally agree.

    The best ball in terms of price for me, is the 9 pack of Wilson US Open extra duty you can get from Big W. It's $5 a can

    We get ripped off for everything here.. Not just tennis equipment and apparel.

    I dont think the Slazangers are as good as they used to be, still very good balls though.

    I don't mind the aus open wilsons at all. Where I pay comp, everyone plays with the wilsons or the slaz, so I just buy the same.
     
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  3. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    oh and another thing, I've opened far too many cans with flat balls in the past year. WTF is with that?
     
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  4. GoSurfBoy

    GoSurfBoy Semi-Pro

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    Played Futures in Central and S. America had the same, faint-at-the-price 'sticker shock'. Luckily, the perks of being somewhat decent players, we were generally given balls, but random hits here and there, playing some social stuff, etc., I would bring balls. That's a BIG gesture, there, when it was $10 a can!

    Ouch. One can would buy you 2 or 3 nice meals.

    I was told it was Duties placed on such foreign and 'luxury' items. Anything 'local' was quite inexpensive. Anything imported got hammered, but since there's very little income tax collected, revenues are paid by VATS, as most make very little money.

    However, I would have thought that Australia would be producing their own balls?

    I would be in favor of $5/can+ balls, here (Federal Sales Tax), if it meant getting rid of the IRS and the INSANE tax code, but the bloated-and-growing-ever-larger Federal gubmint' would NEVER do anything to lay off 175,000 ''Revenooers".
     
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  5. JSouza

    JSouza New User

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    I havent seen those, didnt really think of looking for tennis balls at big W. Will have to check that out
     
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  6. JSouza

    JSouza New User

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    Yes! its just been happening more and more lately. I bought 3 cans of Aus Open Wilsons once. All 3 were flat. Couldnt believe it. Pretty much put me off those balls forever
     
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  7. JSouza

    JSouza New User

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    Via one of the 2 big online stores ( South American River being one of them...) you can buy cases of balls for around $2-4 a can, mainly Penn championships. So thats how I tend to get mine. But you still get slapped with $40 postage, which lessens the cost savings a bit...
     
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  8. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    The flush in your toilets spins in the wrong direction. But you are spot on regarding the tennis ball rap@ & bake.
     
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  9. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    So I popped open a fresh can of slazenger hard courts today, the bounce was perfect but they are way too hard IMO.

    what has happened with this ball? Or am I just too used to the wilson aus opens?
     
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  10. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    One of the posters here gave me a good tip. squeeze the can to see how hard it is, the harder it is the pressure is inside the can..

    also, I've find it's best to buy from stores that sell a lot of balls, and therefore keep ordering in fresh stock. cans that sit around for ages will go flat...

    the wilson aus open are good balls, give them another try..
     
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  11. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Just FYI shipping costs from China or Thailand (or pretty much all of Asia) to OZ is for sure not cheaper than shipping to the US. Unfortunate for all of you in OZ but shipping there due to its being a heavy importer vs her global exports (which are few) makes the freight rates some of the highest rates on the market.

    As ocean freight rates are based on the commodities shipped but for sporting goods shipping from all base China ports to Melbourne as an example are 2.5x higher than those to west coast USA.

    It's a huge reason goods in OZ just cost more.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I played a tournament years ago that used to always provide Wilson US Open balls. For some reason, just that one tournament they used Australian Open balls. Every one of them was flat out of the can.
     
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  13. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    That means that the demand is so high down there, $10/can is no object. You guys should slow down a bit. I think, you've popularized the sport enough.
     
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  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Au$10 (basically US$10 these days) is pretty cheap for a 4 ball can of premium balls nowdays in Aussie. I've seen them up in the $13-$14 mark. The same balls - no joke - cost about US$15-16 in NZ.

    A few times over the years I have tried to convince the odd online retailer in the US to ship a case of balls to Aus when I was there and it's worked once or twice.

    It seems oddly hypocritical that TW happily ships Wilson tennis racquets and Nike shoes etc pretty much anywhere in the world despite it technically being banned by the suppliers and often stated on the product pages (Wilson for example) ... but, on the other hand, they wont ship balls overseas.

    I'd really like to know why? If someone is happy to pay the shipping I can't see much reason not to other than sneaky protectionism reasons for local dists.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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  15. Crisp

    Crisp Semi-Pro

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    Tretorn championship balls are surprisingly very very good balls. They have stayed hard in the coaching basket far longer than any wilson or Dunlop ball I have ever used. And this is when training high level itf junior players. And staying on topic they are cheaper than nealy all other balls when bought by the box.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  16. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    AFAIK, standard Slazenger-Dunlop balls are still made in the Philippines. A 4-ball can of Dunlop Roland Garros or Slazenger Wimbledon goes for about PhPesos 330.00 retail, which would be about under AUS$8.
     
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  17. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    I was shocked at the price of balls the first time I was in Oz. Shipping costs have to be lower since you are much closer to the factories than we are here in the States. On the other hand, prices for most things are higher there than here. Part of it of course is your GST, but it seems to me that a larger part is collusion by importers. I know that Costco opened a store or two there over the last year, have you checked to see if they carry balls? I saw open stock Yonex balls in a bin at Rebel Sport for 0.99 each in March, but I don't know if they were meant to be pressureless, and what quality they are. Factor in higher racquet prices there, and almost no free public courts (we have tons), I'm surprised at the number of people who do play tennis there.
     
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  18. gonzalocatalino

    gonzalocatalino Hall of Fame

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    Here in Argentina we have to pay even more for tennis balls... Any decent can of 3 balls (big brands) starts at u$s 10...
    The dunlops rg or slazengers (4 ball can) costs around 15... :-(
     
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  19. JSouza

    JSouza New User

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    WHAT?! You guys have free courts. Whoah. Yeah here almost all courts cost $20 an hour or something.
     
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  20. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Within walking distance I have 2 courts. Within 5 Km driving distance, I have 46 free courts, available most of the time on a first come, first serve basis. Eighteen of them are have lights. Even with all those, I still belong to a club and pay for court time, but that is to play indoors. On the other hand, we don't have any cricket ovals:mrgreen: I miss watching Mike Hussey.
     
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  21. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    woooww envy. I don't even mind paying abit of money if I could play in an indoor court - the sun is really harsh here in Sydney and its often windy. And then i have to travel like 17 km to get a very cheap outdoor court :-|
     
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  22. DarkCloud

    DarkCloud New User

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    Wow :eek: Which city do you live in?
     
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  23. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Actually, I don't live in a city. It is a unincorporated suburban town of around 30,000 in Maryland just north of Washington DC. But the situation wasn't much different when I lived in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.
     
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  24. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    I understand completely. Since 2009 I've spent a total of 6 months in Sydney, and did manage to hit a number of times, mostly on a really bad, but free, court on Garden Island, where I was working. It seemed like clouds would only block the sun when we were done.

    The first couple of times I was there I stayed in Woolloomooloo, and there was a free court next to my hotel, you just had to go to the community center across from my hotel to borrow a net.
     
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  25. JSouza

    JSouza New User

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    First of all, you are very fortunate. Secondly, Mr Cricket has been doing really well lately.Few big hundreds and incredible catches.
     
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  26. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Looks like I am never moving to Australia, i would have to give up tennis. Ten bucks for a can of balls and you have to pay to use the courts? It would actually be cheaper to play golf. I picked up tennis because it was way less money than my golfing habit.
     
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  27. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    In the big Australian cities access to courts now is so much harder compared to when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. We had a clay court next door as the original owner was a president of the Queensland tennis association back in the 1930s (and according to my dad they would host parties in the 1950s where the who's who of Australian tennis would attend). But being a big block of land it was sold for high density housing 10 years ago.

    Now most tennis is done through commercial centres where you have to pay $10+ an hour to play. Schools have courts but they are all locked up after hours. $10 for balls, most coaching is paid and it is no wonder participation rates have dropped.

    When I was in primary school our team came second in the Brisbane school championship. We had coaches that the school paid to come in once a week and transport to and from matches. Now the kids don't get any coaches and parents have to take the kids to and from matches and there is no teacher supervision.
     
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  28. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    There are 6 public courts within a 15min walk from my house in Melbourne. It just depends where you live.

    It only costs about $120-$150 a year to join a club and play competition or socially ANY time you want anyway.

    That's peanuts IMO.
     
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  29. rigoler

    rigoler New User

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    Penn Comp 12 can box @ Costco Melbourne for $32.00
    Best deal I've found.
     
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  30. chaddles

    chaddles Semi-Pro

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    Australia is more expensive for many, many reasons. The main few are high rents, high minimum wages & conditions, GST, crazy high duties on imports, and we are a small p!ss ant country far away from anywhere.

    It's not as though retailers are putting a huge mark up on everything, it's just the wholesale price from the above factors make everything more expensive. It's the price we pay for living in a great country.
     
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  31. WileyCoyote

    WileyCoyote Rookie

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    Down Under

    My US college buddy who lives in a Melbourne suburb pays almost twice as much for a bottle of Yellow Tail there than I do here.

    I do not think the country of origin makes much difference in the price of goods in Australia; the cost of doing business in general seems to be much higher. Just seems to be a difference in philosophy in the way folks live. More government services result in needing higher revenues and thus higher costs in most everything.

    BTW: He also buys private health insurance to enhance and further ensure his prompt and competent access to specialized medical care.

    Harry
     
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  32. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    I've picked up Penn Championship balls at Costco in Melbourne for about $40 for 16 cans.

    A few weeks ago I also picked up 3 cans of Wilson AO balls for $15 at Big W.

    Big W also have the US Open balls but the AO ones play better IMO.

    I think my membership just outside Melbourne costs me about $130 a year. Not bad for access whenever you want it.
     
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  33. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    Hi mate,

    What are the Penn's like compared to oz open balls? harder?

    I have bought us opens from big w, but most have been flat..

    I'm spending too much on balls, if the Penns aren't hard I might start buying them.
     
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  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Penns are softer balls.
     
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  35. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    I think they play better than the US Opens. I find both balls quite hard though and I don't use the Penn balls for a regular hit but they are great for the ball basket.

    When I'm hitting I tend to go for the Aus Opens.
     
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  36. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    Cheers Pozza..

    I'm convinced they have changed the Slazenger balls, way too hard and bouncy! and bloody expensive
     
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  37. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    I used Slazengers last week when I filled in for a local comp. We played on Plexipave and after 2 sets the balls were terrible. On Plexi they will always struggle but these balls were terrible.
     
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  38. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The fact is that a lot of exporters lower the price of their products to gain access and success in the us market, so other countries effectively subsidise competition in america.

    That's probably the reason why manufacturers now stop tw from exporting to other countries. Its a form of monopoly pricing in smaller markets.

    The fact is that balls may cost more in Australia but the minimum wage is higher so the real factor is affordability, not price.



     
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  39. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    So a yearly fee, but no hourly fee for actual use?



     
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  40. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    Clubs here charge an annual membership fee but most of these clubs are smaller facilities with anything from 2 to 10 courts.

    Indoor centres or big facilities charge hourly fees.
     
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  41. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Unfortunately this club structure (which is probably council subsidized as a community activity) has not survived in other parts and you pay a full commercial fee.
     
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  42. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    Clubs across Melbourne are run under a variety of models and obviously some work much better than others.

    There are many clubs on my side of town (Western Suburbs) that really struggle to stay afloat as tennis at a junior level struggles against other sports and clubs haven't really embraced change the way they could have to keep numbers up.
     
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  43. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    I'm also in melbournes west pozza!

    I've found that many of the clubs aren't run as efficiently as they should be.

    A lot more could be done to attract members, it seems they are content to just plod along...

    Where are the flyers? Where's the advertising? Where's the involvement with schools?
     
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  44. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    Whereabouts are you from Ramos?

    One of the problems everywhere is that these clubs are run by volunteers and there's often not enough of them.

    I suggested to one of the clubs I'm involved in that they could start up social tennis for anyone in the community on Sunday afternoons. Maybe charge a small fee for non-members but if actively pursued it could result in new memberships. No-one on the committee was willing to be there on a Sunday to run it.

    To me that's the reason you go on a committee. Whilst everyone's different, if you don't have the time or energy then you probably shouldn't be putting your hand up.

    Sadly, the lack of volunteers will eventually see smaller clubs die.
     
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  45. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    I live near Footscray mate, you?

    Good point about the volunteers, I know it's easier said than done..

    p.s found some of those Penns on **** for slightly more than Costco, might give them a try, cheers.
     
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  46. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    I'm in Melton but I play my local tennis in the Gisborne area as I'm president of the local tennis association. I play over 35's pennant these days so I can avoid singles.

    How about you?
     
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  47. willkho

    willkho New User

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    Greetings from Melbourne South Eastern Suburb.

    I reckon tennis balls are too expensive. I'm originally from Indonesia, where tennis is consider "rich people" sport and not too popular. However, the decent tennis balls such as Slazenger, Dunlop (Forte&Volley) cost roughly about $5-7 /can.

    Let alone the tennis balls, Strings & tennis rackets (genuine from the authorized dealer) are also much cheaper there. For instance the Pro staff six one tour 90 cost only $170 (they might throw in free luxilon string for you if you are a good negotiator).
    I just email my bro to get me Head Extreme Pro 2.0 but they only have the MP 2.0 :(
    It cost around $160-170, the same as in tennis warehouse USA.

    by the way, I just bought Wilson tour tennis ball from target for about $8/can.
     
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  48. clarky

    clarky Rookie

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    I get the Wilson us open extra heavy duty from big w can of 4 $7. Best of the lot. Slazenger used to be good and I grew up playing them but they don't seem to be the same anymore so I prefer the Wilson.
     
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  49. Pozza

    Pozza New User

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    I bought a can of Wilson Davis Cup balls yesterday. Never seen them before so thought I'd give them a go.

    Opened the can this morning and they play very similar to the US Open balls. Think I'll stick to the Aussie Opens.
     
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  50. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    you can get 3 cans for $15 at big w (wilson AO and US Opens) (3 balls in each can)

    BUT... some of them will be flat, squeeze the cans and pick the hardest ones..
     
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