Best Tennis Balls
As we’ve covered, there is a wide range of tennis balls available, making it tricky to narrow down the highest quality options.
To help, we’ve organized our favorite pressurized, pressureless, and high-altitude tennis balls that we’ve had first-hand experience using.
There are considerably more options for pressurized tennis balls, but the following selection stands out from the crowd with excellent all-around performance that’s consistent time after time.
Wilson US Open Extra Duty
The Wilson US Open Extra Duty tennis ball is a classic, and the pro tour has been using them in Flushing Meadows since 1978.
These are my top pick and one of my favorite all-around balls, which deliver exceptional consistency and durability with premium felt that stands up to the demands of the most abrasive hard court surfaces.
In particular, I’ve found these balls to perform well in various climates, especially humid conditions where others tend to fluff up excessively.
It’s worth noting that I find these balls to play a bit slower than others, which I find is a welcome tradeoff for added durability.
Dunlop ATP Championship Extra Duty
In 2019, Dunlop became the official ball for the ATP, and as a result, it’s one of the most widely used on tour, including the Australian Open.
Like Wilson’s US Open offering, these are premium tennis balls that offer consistent performance and an excellent feel using Dunlop’s highly visible and durable HD Pro Cloth and HD Pro Core.
The one downside I’ve found is that they don’t seem to handle humid conditions super well, but they’re hard to beat in dryer climates.
As far as pace, I find these balls to play at an ideal mid-range speed, which is well suited for hard court play.
The official ball at Wimbledon since 1902, the Wimbledon Ball from Slazenger, is an excellent high-performance option that’s one of the best I’ve ever used right out of the can.
Their felt is tighter, and I find it less durable than others, making them ideal for softer grass and clay courts.
One of the Wimbledon Ball’s unique features is Hydro Guard, which according to Slazenger, repels up to 70% more water than a standard ball.
Like any tennis ball, they’re not going to perform well soaking wet, but they’re a great option if you play in wetter climates where rain comes and goes frequently, and puddles are a regular occurrence.
Although it might not be the first name that comes to mind for tennis balls, Tecnifibre’s X-One is an exceptional performer.
After a short warm-up, the ball’s long-lasting felt achieves an ideal fluff, which remains consistent for the life of the balls.
Currently, the ATP uses these balls at the ATP Marseille and Rotterdam, which are 250 and 500 level tournaments, respectively.
Unfortunately, these are some of the more difficult tennis balls to come by in the United States, but there are a few online retailers such as Do It Tennis that carry them if you’re up for giving them a try.
No tennis ball is more ubiquitous than the Penn Championship Extra Duty in America, which offers excellent performance at an affordable price.
From Amazon to Walmart, Costco, and you’re local clubs, you can pick these tennis balls up virtually anywhere in the United States, and they’ve built a solid reputation among competitive and recreational players.
However, a step up from their Championship balls, you’ll find their premium Tour tennis balls, which deliver even better performance.
These balls feature Penn’s LongPlay felt for added durability and longevity and their Smart Optik color, which improves visibility by up to 19% compared to your standard ball.
I’ve hit with their Championship tennis balls probably more than any other, and one of the biggest knocks on them is their ability to hold bounce for an extended period.
However, the Penn Tour tennis balls pick up where the Championship leaves off for a longer-lasting performance that’s one of the best.
Although they’re not typically the first choice for most players, pressureless tennis balls are an excellent option to help you get more life out of your tennis balls, especially for practice or recreational play.
In 2019, Wilson unveiled the Trinity tennis ball, which emphasizes performance and sustainability.
According to Wilson, the ball’s Engage Core uses an innovative plastomer or rubber and plastic material that weighs less and is thicker, resulting in 4 times longer performance than a standard core.
On the ball’s outside, you’ll find STR Felt, which has a unique flex for enhanced performance. The net result is what I’ve found to be a ball that offers exceptional feel that raises the game for pressureless.
The Wilson Trinity balls come in a 100% recyclable paper package vs. the standard plastic tube to help reduce their environmental impact. Furthermore, five percent of profits from these balls go straight to Wilson’s global sustainability efforts.
Setpoint Pulp is some of the most durable and long-lasting pressureless tennis balls on the market and one of my top picks for ball machines.
Although pressureless balls work well under any conditions, they need to be extra durable for consistent, accurate placement while standing up to the beating they teak when using them with a ball machine.
They’re lively, deliver a consistent bounce over a long period, and have a highly durable felt that keeps them going for months on end. I find their performance improves after a session or two of hitting.
Spinfire, which makes ball machines, sells these, and they’re some of my favorite on the market.
Tretorn Micro X
Another high-quality option for pressureless tennis balls comes from Tretorn, the recommended tennis ball for Lobster ball machines.
A Swedish company, Tretorn might be better known for its rubber boots, shoes, and apparel. However, with their early knowledge in rubber making and vulcanization, they began producing tennis balls in 1902.
Fast forward to 1955, and they launched their revolutionary pressureless tennis ball, which they iterated upon many times and eventually came up with their Micro X ball.
It’s a unique pressureless tennis ball because it contains a smooth white powder or micro cells that help it retain its bounce and longevity.
I’ve used these balls on several occasions, including with a ball machine, and they’re fantastic. However, the biggest drawback is their weight.
One of the most popular options for pressureless balls is from Penn, which you can typically purchase as a bucket of 48 or a bag of 12.
They’re excellent long-lasting tennis balls that work well for training and are an ideal investment if you’re looking to save some money.
On occasion, I have come across a handful of defective balls, but generally, it’s not an issue and shouldn’t be cause for concern.
Oddly enough, due to their durability and cost, they’re a popular option for dog owners who are looking for balls that last longer.
Tourna makes a wide range of quality tennis products, including pressureless tennis balls.
We wouldn’t consider them a premium tennis ball, but they’re a reliable option for players looking for something a bit less expensive.
One of the nice parts about Tourna’s tennis balls is that you can purchase them in various quantities depending on your needs or preference.
They’re also relatively easy to track down through a variety of retailers.
Options are somewhat limited when it comes to high-altitude tennis balls, but they’re well worth the investment if you’re playing above 4,000 ft (1,219 m) to ensure a proper bounce for your environment.
Wilson US Open
One our my favorite pressurized tennis ball is also available as a high-altitude option with extra duty felt.
Considering high altitude balls are a bit harder to come by, these are easily my favorite pick as they feature the same great quality as their standard balls, simply pressurized for play above 3,500 ft (1,067 m).
As you’d expect from Wilson, these balls are ITF-approved, and they’re an excellent choice for players of all skill levels.
I’ve had an opportunity to hit with these in Denver on a few occasions, and they perform as expected.
Like Wilson, Penn offers their ever-popular Championship tennis balls in a high-altitude option, which is another fantastic choice.
Between the two, they’re more affordable, so it’s great for players to have options. As you might expect, they feature the same great performance as their standard pressurized tennis balls.
However, they also have the identical downside: their longevity could be better, so it’s a cost-benefit tradeoff.