Difference between hitting new and older balls

#1
Can anybody explain the difference between hitting a set of fresh new balls, compared to when they get older?

I ask this in regards to how much more or how much less power you should be putting into balls that are older to keep them in and promote the right amount of topspin. Just curious to hear of people's experiences. Thanks!
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#3
The internal pressure of a new/fresh ball will be higher than an older ball, This will make them livelier when they bounce on the court or when they bounce on your strings. The felt on a new/fresh ball will be full, unworn and fairly smooth. As a ball is used the felt will often fluff up. This can cause greater air drag on the ball as it travels (thru the air).

However, as the balls continue to be used, the felt will wear away. The reduced felt will result in less drag -- the balls will not slow down as much as they fly thru the air. A ball with a full measure of felt will probably also interact with the court and with your stringbed differently than a ball that is somewhat bald. A ball with a lot of felt Might have more friction when it interacts with the court than a ball that is relatively bald. The latter ball might tend to skid more for certain spins and trajectories.
 
#4
An old ball squishes more on the stringbed. This means less power and in some ways more control. It's the same effect as using a deader string.

The new ball has more power because it bounces more efficiently off the string bed. The more a ball squishes on contact with a surface, the less efficiently it bounces back. More energy gets lost. That's why when you drop a brand new one and an old one right next to each other, the new one will bounce noticeably higher.
 
#5
However, as the balls continue to be used, the felt will wear away. The reduced felt will result in less drag -- the balls will not slow down as much as they fly thru the air. A ball with a full measure of felt will probably also interact with the court and with your stringbed differently than a ball that is somewhat bald. A ball with a lot of felt Might have more friction when it interacts with the court than a ball that is relatively bald. The latter ball might tend to skid more for certain spins and trajectories.
Yeah, after they fluff up they eventually turn into low drag bullets that don't bounce
 
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Deleted member 23235

Guest
#6
Can anybody explain the difference between hitting a set of fresh new balls, compared to when they get older?

I ask this in regards to how much more or how much less power you should be putting into balls that are older to keep them in and promote the right amount of topspin. Just curious to hear of people's experiences. Thanks!
my $0.02.
As balls (I prefer the premium versions: ATP, ProPenn, GrandPrix, USOpen, etc..) get older (more squishy, less bouncy, more fluffy, etc..), the higher the trajectory I aim for, to achieve suitable depth. I maintain the same swing speed (to generate a uniformly (fast!) racquet head speed)) regardless of the ball.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#7
That totally depends on the specific tennis balls you use... But usually they just get slower, lower bouncing.
True for the most part. Some tennis ball brands or models will tend to lose their internal pressure sooner or more rapidly than others. Some will tend to fluff; others, not so much. Some are extra duty, as opposed to regular duty, and will not go bald as as quickly. A ball with less felt will, undoubtedly, have also have lost some of its pressure. So, even tho' the ball is not as lively (on interactions with the court or the strings), it will not slow down as much as it flies thru the air (cuz of less air drag).

Balls that have picked up clay (dust) from clay courts will behave somewhat differently from a new/fresh ball. (This is true, to a lesser extent, for ball that have picked up some dirt from hard courts). It is for this reason that ball used specifically for clay courts are regular duty balls rather than XD balls.
 
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