Let me start this article by asking you a question- as a tennis player, what is the best feeling that you can have other than winning one round? Yeah, I know it as well; nothing feels better than opening a fresh set of tennis balls.
There are undoubtedly many tennis balls flooding the market but hear me out; not all of them are made with equal care. Knowing which ball matches with which type of court is a crucial decision.
So whether you’re just starting or a pro already, this article will surely help you out on winning those games. Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the best tennis balls you can find right now on the market.
Table of Contents
- Top 11 Best Tennis Balls in 2021
- Best Tennis Balls: Buying Guide
- FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
Top 11 Best Tennis Balls in 2021
1. Dunlop Fort All Court
The Dunlop Fort All Court tennis ball is an iconic ball that I’ve been using for as long as I can remember. It is suitable for all types of court surfaces as well as all levels of play. Dunlops aren’t as flashy as some other contenders on my list.
But what it loses in style makes up in the affordability department. This is one of the most affordable balls on my list, and many of the tennis clubs use them regularly on their court.
The classic Dunlop ball reengineering to introduce the Dunlop HD core is one of the standout features. It promises to increase the overall durability and consistency of the ball by a large margin.
It’s a solid ball in terms of overall quality, but not the best one I’ve played with. It is good enough for warm-up matches and club-level plays.
It can feel a little inconsistent when the balls are fresh. Although, after a round or two, it plays well. Overall, a solid ball to play with if you’re into club levels.
Things I like:
- Suitable for all court surfaces
- Readily available on all markets
- Offers decent durability and consistency
- An affordable choice for most people
- Good enough ball for club-level plays
2. Wilson US Open
The Wilson US Open is a widely used tennis ball over the USA. The exterior is made up of premium woven felt, and it comes in a basic tennis ball yellow color.
I’ve had an extensive history with this ball over the years, have played many competitive matches with this. They have to be one of my go-to tennis balls for a quick round of court.
The ball comes in two variants: regular and extra duty, which makes them ideal for playing in an abrasive or hard court. USTA, as well as ITF, give it the approval to be used as the official ball for the US Open. The best thing about this ball is its consistency across the field.
Some of the other balls might have to go through a round or two before they start performing optimally. Well, from my experience, the Wilson US Open has rock-solid performance straight out of the tube.
They perform optimally in the court all the time, has a consistent bounce for as long as it can play. The only shortcoming that I can see is that the ball is not very durable. They play pretty well, but they wear out quite soon.
Things I Like:
- Made with good quality felt materials
- Plays very well straight from the tube
- Provides consistent performance, feel, and bounce
- It can last a long time without losing the pressure
- Great for hard, abrasive courts
- Excellent ball for competitive matches
3. Penn Championship
According to the can the ball comes in, this is the ‘#1 best-selling tennis ball in America’. The Penn Championship balls are found on every tennis court spread across the country.
And I have an excellent idea as to why; this is a very durable set of balls. They may not feel as nice to play as the Wilson ones, but boy, are they durable. They can last you for a very long time.
The balls come in two types: the regular ones for playing in the soft courts and the extra duty ones for hard courts. It is an affordable choice when it comes to great value for money.
The interlocked wool fiber construction gives this ball its durability, preventing loss of bounce and superior performance in the field.
The natural rubber provides this ball with a consistent feel in hand. This is an excellent ball for players from all types of skill levels. I have used them consistently during my practice sessions.
Things I Like:
- Provides excellent value for money
- Lasting durability for extended play sessions
- Interlocking wool fibers provide quality
- Available for both soft and hard courts
- Excellent choice for players from all skill levels
4. Dunlop ATP Championship
Dunlop ATP is a great ball to play on softer courts like clay. This medium-range ball is a great choice both for recreational and club-style players.
It has a lightweight construction and feels very smooth in hand, making it an ideal choice for people who like an extra spin on their balls. It comes with a unique felt which makes it light and easily playable for most occasions.
I can tell you that this ball feels softer than other premium choices from my personal experience playing with this ball. It feels slower and more deliberate to play with, so it feels nice to control and takes spins well.
Although experienced players can take advantage of this ball, amateur players might have difficulty controlling the spin. The Dunlop ATP can undoubtedly give a plush feeling on my string; I prefer a firmer response on my balls during my practice.
This is one of the most widely used ATP balls at the moment, and I understand why. Instead of its ATP naming, it’s relatively affordable compared to other balls in its classes.
Things I Like:
- It gives a plush feeling on the string
- A lovely ball to control or volley
- An excellent choice for spins
- Overall lightweight construction
- Plays terrific on clay courts
5. Penn ATP
Penn ATP is a top-tier offering from Penn and a regular choice among professional tennis players. Their high durability levels mixed with more extended playtime and excellent performance make them a no-brainer for pro players. For this reason, Penn officially supplies the ATP regular balls for the Master’s Event.
The ATP balls are made with premium materials which include a technical-grade rubber core for excellent balance. They are also covered with exclusive Longplay felt for providing outstanding durability.
They feature the Smart-Optik technology, which gives 19% more visibility than a standard tennis ball. Their consistent bounce and excellent playability make them one the best balls to play with in the field. Any professional tennis player will love playing a round of court with them.
However, to get a hold of all these features, you have to pay a premium. These balls can get quite expensive when you consider you have to replace them often. If you’re looking for a high-quality tennis ball that will serve you great during a competitive match or a practice session, then look no further.
A good combination of excellent construction, playability, and balance makes the Penn ATP overall one of the best balls you can get today.
Things I like:
- It offers a high level of playability
- The ball is balanced very well and provides good performance
- Exceptionally durable, it can last through the long stretch of matches
- Smart-Optik technology gives them 19% better visibility
- Excellent choice for professional players
6. Wilson Triniti
During this day and age, making eco-friendly products is of great importance to companies. Wilson is probably the first company to realize that aspect, so they started producing a particular type of tennis ball.
The Wilson Triniti is considered to be their version of ‘Eco-friendly’ tennis balls. It is the first product line up of its class.
This ball’s core comprises a unique plastomere material that Wilson claims will retain the new ball feel for up to 4x longer. The outer housing is covered with a specialized STR felt that provides 50% more durability than standard ones.
Even the packaging is made with a green economy in mind; it is wholly made up of eco-friendly paper to be recycled. 5% of the profit goes to the sustainability goals for the betterment of the earth.
From my experience of using it daily, it is an ‘all performance’ ball that is compatible with most surfaces. This is a USTA and ITF-approved ball. For more extended play, it is a good choice as it lasts quite a long while.
Things I Like:
- Adaptable with all types of court
- This ball has excellent build quality, great for extended plays
- It contains specialized felt that has more durability than standard felt
- It comes in a fully recyclable paper package
- 5% or profit goes for sustainable development, eco-friendly ball
7. Wilson Grand Slam XD
This is a more amateur-focused ball on my list. If you’re just starting and getting accustomed to the world of tennis, this ball will serve you well. From less frequent to intermediate, players often opt for this ball. It offers good value for money as it lasts pretty long.
It is also pretty affordable; you could buy a whole bunch of them without breaking a sweat. They provide enough stability and performance for recreational play, but ITF disapproves of them.
Things I Like:
- Great ball for beginners
- Durable build; lasts for quite long
- Pretty affordable choice
- Provide enough stability and performance for beginner and intermediate players
- Good for recreational plays
8. Pro Penn Marathon
Pro Penn Marathon balls are made to last; they will last you for a very long time in the court. These balls are designed especially for those long-lasting tennis matches.
Penn introduced a new ‘Encore Technology’ for this ball, making it last 22% more than the standard balls. It even comes with extra duty felt for hard courts.
Penn Marathon is a decent ball; it stays firm and bounces well. From a technical standpoint, the Wilson US Open feels better to handle, but nothing can beat the Marathon’s durability. It would go so far as to say this- this is a perfect choice for players who wants long practice sessions and playtimes.
Things I Like:
- Decent playability
- Excellent build quality
- One of the best ball when it comes to durability
- Ideal for a long session of plays
- Perfect choice for professional players
9. Wilson Championship
The Wilson champion balls are great for any type of court. It comes in two variants: regular and extra duty. It plays excellently on clay and common court. The ball is officially used on Australia and US championships regularly. It’s also ITF and USTA approved.
The construction is built with a particular type of fiber, also known as the Duraweave. This fiber has interlocking technology, which ensures that the ball remains playable for a long time. This ball wears down relatively slow. It is an ideal ball for the championship and recreational play alike.
It also comes in great value; the balls are relatively cheap if you consider their overall quality. But they don’t last long; you need to use them fast before stacking up a new can.
Things I Like:
- Plays excellently on regular and clay courts
- It comes in two variants: normal and extra-duty
- The Duraweave construction ensure the ball stays playable for long stretches
- Relatively cheap option in terms of quality
- Ideal ball for tournament level of play
10. Dunlop Grand Prix
The Dunlop Grand Prix balls are specially designed for hard courts. Its core is constructed with 14 different materials, and they were mixed with rubber.
The outer part is built with premium quality is woven felt that provides much better durability. Dunlop claims that this special felt will deliver consistent performance and feel.
The yellow color of this ball also has a specialty; Dunlop calls it their ‘MaxGlo’ technology. This ensures that the ball stays visible even in sub-optimal conditions. This technology gives the ball 14% more visibility than the regular balls.
Because of its superior quality, it is approved by IFT and USTA for tournament play. From my personal experience, I’ve found these balls excellent for playing.
They have a very consistent feel and performance. And they are pretty durable. They are pretty good as premium tennis balls but, unfortunately, are not as famous as Wilson or Penn.
Things I Like:
- Superior build quality than most of the balls
- Premium quality felt provides excellent durability
- Specially designed for hard surfaces
- MaxGlo technology gives 14% more visibility than standard balls
- Perfect premium tennis ball for tournament plays
11. Gamma Pressureless Balls
These are some of the best balls you can find for long sessions of practicing. The pressureless gamma balls are pressureless balls so that they won’t lose pressure after some time. They retain their bounce for long periods.
Pressureless balls are becoming more and more famous among teachers and coaches for their long durability. These balls are an ideal choice for ball machines. I used to load ball machines with a lot of them during training sessions.
They also play great on all types of courts ranging from clay courts to hard ones. So for someone who’s just starting tennis, this is a great gift.
Things I Like:
- These balls never lose pressure
- Best balls for practice
- Works with ball machines
- Adaptable for all types of courts
- Very famous among coaches and teachers alike
Best Tennis Balls: Buying Guide
If you’re into the market, looking for a fresh set of tennis balls, you might not know what to look for when choosing one for yourself.
If I’m totally honest, no universally good tennis ball will work for all equally. The factors depend primarily on your playing ability, your personal preference as well as your play style.
Types of Tennis balls
When it comes to tennis balls, you might want to consider your age, abilities, or use case scenarios.
This is the traditional tennis ball type that people play with, from recreational sports to international events. If you’ve seen a tennis ball, good chance, it was a yellow ball.
Green balls are slightly softer, have less pressure overall. For this reason, they love slightly lower bounce than the yellow counterparts and easier to handle. It is a good choice for junior players who are getting introduced to tennis.
These are targeted at juniors who are within ten years old. They provide an even softer feeling and weigh lighter than the green balls.
These types of balls are aimed at the youngest players. Red balls have a larger size than the standard type of balls. Moreover, these balls have a softer and thicker felt lining.
Good balls should maintain a good amount of durability for a more extended period. If you’re keen on maximizing your playtime while not spending too much on the process, keep a lookout for the extra duty balls.
A good tennis ball will give you better consistency while playing. It means that the ball should have a consistent style of bounce when you hit it with a racket, which provides you with better confidence while playing every shot.
A thicker, more fluffy ball will spin higher, but it can get harder to control. While a thin ball might give you more control, it tends to get ruined quickly.
The lighter balls will bounce higher on the court, while the heavier ones will bounce less. Keep this preference in your mind while making your purchase decision.
The cost is also an important factor while making your purchase decision. You want the best performing ball within your budget. Then I’d suggest you’d go for companies like Dunlop, Penn, etc.
FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of tennis balls?
There are different types of tennis balls dedicated to different kinds of people. Type 1 balls are made for slow surfaces like clay. Type 2 is for medium-paced courts such as acrylic. Type 3 is reserved for only fast-paced courts like grass.
What does the number one tennis balls mean?
Number 1 tennis balls are made for slow surfaces. That means the ball can be played on clay courts.
Which tennis balls last longest?
The Extra Duty balls are made for long-lasting plays. Among them, the Penn Pro Entra Duty Marathon holds the record for the longest-lasting ball.
Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?
The fuzz is produced on the tennis balls to make them go as fast as intended. The fuzz makes the ball cut through the air and lose momentum because of the friction. So the ball cannot get crazy fast and goes according to the design.
If you manage to read through the article so far, you know there are no universally best tennis balls. Different types of balls are great for different kinds of people.
For overall excellent quality and low price, Wilson US Open tennis balls are my pick. If you’re looking for durability, then Pro Penn Marathon is a perfect choice. For professional play, Dunlop Grand Prix is my top choice.
So, here are my top choice for the best tennis balls. I hope this list will serve you well for making a good purchase decision. Best of luck!