Getting through matches with dead balls


New User

Coming back (yet again) from injury and lockdown I have run into an issue I would appreciate some advice on.

Playing matches with dead balls.
Fresh out of the can, but play like blocks of wood.
Dead lifeless tennis balls.
Like they do not last the warmup before expiring.
The ones so dead you can you hit with a hammer and they just say "huh"?
No pace, not much spin, not much bounce.
Forearm killing, elbow destroying horrible sounding fluffy yellow lumps.

Some of our local comps have stocked up on these horrible slow dead lumps due to a lack of stock of normal balls.

I am finding it very hard to hit through them and generate anything off the ground let alone the serve.
And getting stuck in longer rallies due to not being able to hit winners extends the arm pain and exposes my lack of cardio since coming back badly as well.

Racking up the L's to players that wouldnt have worried me before injury/lockdown and there is still many cases of these balls to get through before any chance of a return to normal ones!

How do you deal with it when you turn up to a match and your playing with yellow rocks?

Is there anything racquet wise / string wise I can do that may help?

Bab Pure Aero
RPM Blast 1.75 @ 52 pounds.

Vid from when first got back on court from this injury - having a light hit just to see how my form was.
Am substantially fitter now than during this video since I have been able to slowly get back to normal as well as hitting the home gym during lockdown, so I dont think its something I can fix with technique or strength at this stage but appreciate any ideas.

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Where are u? Sounds like a third world country if u can't get new balls--no problem getting new balls in the USA--if they haven't been looted from the sporting good stores that is. A sleeve of balls should easily have a year shelf life or two. Your balls must have been on the slow boat from China previously--they should be returned to the manufacturer for an exchange. My advice is DON'T PLAY IN A TOURNAMENT WITH DEAD BALLS!--it's not worth it to get injured, costing thousands in medical bills and loss of playing time. What kind of a tournament is this? I can't imagine a Senior Tournament that would make players play with dead balls--it should be canceled until fresh balls are available. The balls should not have gone dead in the six months of this spamdemic--they must have been sitting around for a year or more previously. Are they from Costco?--they will take them back.
They could be used for service practice or given to a dog charity or nursing homes for walkers. I've heard of some machines that can repressurize them but don't know how well that works myself--buying new balls for $2-3 a sleeve has never been a problem in the states. U can even find the Dunlop 4 ball sleeves on sale at Big 5 Sports on sale for $2.50.
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New User
Im talking about brand new balls freshly opened provided for each match for these leagues.

"Slazenger Hard court advantage" balls today. They were just like playing with wooden ones.

We used to have Wilson Championship ones as the norm but are out of stock.
Have you ever played with Slazengers before? They are the balls used at Wimbledon. I have and they are the best quality ball made, and last the longest--well worth the extra money and come in a metal four-ball sleeve. They are designed to be used on grass courts and that's what you're hitting on. They may not be dead--u just may not be used to playing with them. When were they made? There should be a date on the case--can't imagine a Slazenger ball going dead in a year in a metal sleeve--they're the best quality ball. Balls vary but must fall into parameters of size, weight and bounce. Have u ever played with Slazenger Wimbledon balls before?


Hall of Fame
Personally I just slice the crap out of it and get to net as much as possible.

If you don’t have a game style conducive to that, then at least try and hit relatively flat. Topspin won’t get you much value for the effort, and will mostly just make the ball sit up nicely for your opponent.

Failing all that, you are probably going to have a pretty long afternoon.

Crazy Finn

Hall of Fame
Well, your opponent is playing with the same balls. They are dealing with the same issues you are. Apparently, they must be dealing with it better.

So, you can't generate any power but are still trying to "hit through them." Maybe a smarter approach is in order? I like Cashman's suggestions.

I've never seen, let alone played on a grass court. That's pretty cool.


i'd treat it like i'm playing on a different surface...
deadballs == grass...
so more slice, s&v, c&c, droppers,...
which of course is not fun if you don't have those shots, and just like to bash from the baseline.