Professionals go to great lengths to make sure they gain a competitive edge over their opponents and this is particularly true in the highly competitive world of tennis. Everything matters and gear is of critical importance, but in order to make an educated decision, you need to know your options. When it comes to tennis balls, the brand matters of course, but a distinction needs to be made between the types of balls.
Pressurized vs Depressurized balls
In the United States, pressurized balls are the norm but there are plenty of vendors selling depressurized balls online, so clarifications are in order. Pressurized balls are stiffer and tend to bounce more, but their life expectancy is shorter, and the decay process starts as soon as they are removed from the pressurized cans. Those who seek quality above anything else and can afford to replace the tennis balls often, will enjoy a better experience if they choose pressurized balls.
By comparison, non-pressurized balls which are commonly referred to as depressurized, last longer and the gaming experience stays more or less the same. The depreciation curve is not that steep, so they are preferred by casual players and those who don’t have a lot of money to spend on replacing balls. It is also worth mentioning the fact that depressurized balls are mostly used in Europe, while US-based players prefer the pressurized version.
Penn Tennis Balls
For decades, Penn has been synonymous with top quality tennis balls and very little has changed since the company was acquired by Head. These are the bestselling balls in the US and the cover a broad spectrum that of course, includes professionals.
The main quality of Pro Penn Marathon is the fact that these are long-lasting balls that don’t lose their properties even when they are used at high altitudes, on soft or hard courts. Penn uses the LongPlay felt and Encore technology, that are supposed to preserve the bounce and mitigate the effect of deterioration.
Penn ATP balls are widely regarded by professionals as the best pressurized tennis balls money can buy and they are the balls of choice for hard hitters. These balls generate remarkable speeds and they are also easy to observe, thanks to the Smart Optik felt. It comes as no surprise that they are used in 3 big tournaments in the US and they are equally popular abroad.
Wilson Tennis Balls
The U.S. Open embraced Wilson tennis balls almost four decades ago and they were given no reasons to look elsewhere for alternatives. These balls come in 2 flavors, with the Extra Duty being the ones used on hard courts while the Regular Duty are better for clay courts. Wilson tennis balls are also used at the Australian Open and while some consider to be second to Penn balls, they tend to last longer.