The Best Tennis Balls of 2021

We have compiled a thorough review of the best tennis balls on the market today. We took it a step further and included different types of the best tennis balls: best overall tennis balls, best high altitude tennis balls, best tennis balls for hard courts, best practice and beginner tennis balls, and best cheap tennis balls. We've also included a bonus review of the best environmentally friendly tennis ball. In each category we reviewed three tennis balls. 

Tennis balls can look the same for most of us. However, just like the best tennis racquets and middle of the range racquets, there are many tennis balls variations.

Below we have our favorites for each category & court type, and after that, we have our tennis ball buying guide to help answer your questions.

So it is normal for beginners to feel daunted when choosing the right tennis ball. There are plenty of factors to be considered, so that's why we have our guide after the reviews. We also have other guides like how to keep score in tennis

Best Tennis Ball

Best Tennis Balls

Slazenger Wimbledon

Premium woven cloth is specially designed for championship tennis play

Best High Altitude

high altitude tennis balls

Wilson Championship

One of the best for use in high altitude locations

Best for Hard Courts

Wilson US Open XDuty Tennis Ball

Wilson US Open

Durable and long lasting on hard court surfaces


Best Beginner or Practice

Penn Championship Extra Duty

Penn Championship Extra

Classic tennis ball that is great for all levels of play and last a long time

Best Cheap Tennis Balls

Gamma Sports Bucket

Gamma Sports Bucket

Get a lot of tennis balls for the money

Best Environmentally Friendly

Wilson Triniti Tennis Balls

Wilson Triniti

Only tennis ball case on the market that uses recycled material and that is fully recyclable

How about the court surface or court type? These factors will come into play when you are already becoming a pro in the sport. However, you would have to start with the types of tennis ball first in order to progress in the sport.

After deciding on what type of tennis ball that will fit your needs, you will still have to study other factors to pick the best tennis ball for you.

It would be a great head start if you can have some ideas about different popular tennis balls in the market today. Below are the best tennis balls for each category.

Best Tennis Balls

1. Wilson RF Legacy All-Court Tennis Balls

RF Legacy All Court Tennis Balls

First on our review of the best tennis balls is this Roger Federer Legacy all-court tennis balls by Wilson. If you are a fan of professional tennis and particularly professional tennis players like Roger Federer, you will probably like this pack.

Wilson tennis claims that these tennis balls’ speed and control have been tested and approved by Roger Federer, and if you think that he is a spectacular tennis player, you can expect no less spectacular performance from these balls.

What you may also like about these tennis balls is that they are made for use on all court surfaces. Its felt probably won’t be as durable as specialized heavy duty felt, but it should deliver a long lifespan even for serious players.

This 4-pack is a bit pricey, but if you are an advanced player, making a hole in your budget may be worth it.

Pros

  • Built for all any court type
  • Good bounce and feel
  • Four balls per can

Cons

  • Seem to get dirty on clay easily

2. Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls

Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls

f you are ready to spend a fortune on high-performance tennis balls, then the official Wimbledon tennis balls by Slazenger Wimbledon may interest you. Great regular tennis balls for grass courts or even clay courts. 

The Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls had to make our list of the best tennis balls. The balls are made for the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, these balls offer unparalleled performance and consistency on grass courts.

Slazenger Wimbledon ball has designed these tennis balls to be easy to track on the court and, of course, durable, and long lasting. The most remarkable thing of the Slazenger Wimbledon ball is the patented Hydroguard technology, whose purpose is to repel up to 70% more water than standard balls. This feature is key to these balls’ consistency.

Slazenger Wimbledon ball has also employed the so-called Ultra Vis dye technology to create a ball that is visible to the players and is easy to track for the spectators.

In the end, the Slazenger Wimbledon tennis balls may allow you to feel like a pro, but be prepared to pay the money for it.

Pros

  • High quality, premium woven cloth designed for championship tennis play
  • Official Ball of Wimbledon and ITF Approved
  • Exclusive Ultra Vis dye designed for optimal visibility
  • Repels up to 70% more water than a standard tennis ball
  • Best balls for grass courts or clay courts

Cons

  • Not designed for a hard court surface

3. Wilson Triniti Tennis Balls

Wilson Triniti Tennis Balls

If you are proactive in reducing your carbon footprint, then the Wilson Triniti Tennis Balls are the best tennis ball to choose from. Additionally, 5% of the profits go to worldwide sustainability efforts.

The tennis balls come in a case that is made out of fully recyclable packing materials. The sleeves are recyclable after use as well. Unlike most tennis ball containers, the Wilson Triniti case has a unique octagonal paper container in which the sleeves are fully recyclable after use.

The ball core contains a unique plastomer material that extends that famous fresh ball feel. At the same time, STR Felt creates awesome durability and is 50% more flexible than the standard ball for better feel at contact. The case is not in a pressurized case, so to make up for that, the ball is made out of material that allows this ball to maintain enough liveliness to exist outside of a pressurized can. Triniti is taking charge and leading the way for performance tennis balls both on and off the court.

Pros

  • Best balls for minimizing carbon footprint
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Plastomer material that maintains fresh ball feel 4x longer than a standard core
  • 5% of profits support worldwide sustainability efforts
  • High Quality ball

Cons

  • Not in a pressurized case

Best High Altitude Tennis Balls

If you are going to be playing at higher altitudes, anything over 4,000 feet, you will need tennis balls designed for that. Below are three of our top choice for higher altitudes. Make sure you select the ball right for the type of court you play on. 

1. Penn Championship High-Altitude Tennis Balls

Penn Tennis Balls

Next on our list of the best tennis balls is the Penn Championship High Altitude Tennis Balls. If the court you are going to play at is situated at an altitude of over 4,000 feet, then these high-altitude tennis balls by Penn are going to be a good option.

If you didn’t know, standard tennis balls do not perform well at high altitudes. If you play at high altitudes, then it is recommended that you purchase a special ball, and the Penn Championship tennis ball is one option.

Thanks to their inexpensiveness, these Penn Championship balls are likely going to be very good for beginners. Despite their low price, these balls have a few interesting things to offer.

Namely, these balls are designed to deliver consistent performance for as long as possible. These balls are designed to evenly release their fiber, while the natural rubber ensures a consistent feel along with the reduced shock. Simultaneously, the fibers are interlocked to make sure that they stay intact as long as possible.

Lastly, Penn also boasts that Penn Championship Tennis Balls are the official ball of USTA Leagues to deliver solid performance even for pros.

Pros

  • Excellent choice for high altitude play and any hard court surface
  • Natural rubber offers consistent feel and reduced shock
  • High quality - Official Ball of USTA Leagues
  • Interlocked fiber ensures the all courts tennis balls will play like new for as long as possible.

Cons

  • Not designed for play at sea level

2. Wilson High Altitude Tennis Balls Championship

Wilson High Altitude Tennis Ball

The Championship High Altitude tennis balls lives up to the Wilson tennis name with it's improved durability. This ball is designed for all courts and is especially designed for high altitude play.  It has Dura-Weave felt for improved durability on any court surface.  

Pros

  • Great tennis ball for high altitude
  • Dura-Weave felt lends long lasting durability
  • Extra Duty tennis ball last longer

Cons

  • No recommended for low altitude play

3. Penn Tour Extra Duty High Altitude Tennis Ball

Penn Tour Extra Duty High Altitude Tennis Ball

Penn Tour High Altitude tennis balls are high performance tennis balls and the best Penn tennis balls are covered with Penn’s exclusive LongPlay® felt for extended wear. Penn provides players with optimum core and felt technologies for the optimal balance of consistency, durability, and overall playability. Overall, this ball will last longer on hard surfaces.

Pros

  • Designed for high altitude play
  • LongPlay technology to help make the ball last longer

Cons

  • No recommended for low altitude play

Best Tennis Balls for Hard Courts

If you are playing on hard courts like asphalt or cement, you will need good balls for hard courts to take the punishment. You don't want to use regular duty balls for hard court surfaces because they won't hold their outside specifications as long as heavy duty balls for hard court surfaces.

1. Dunlop Grand Prix Hard Court Ball

Dunlop Grand Prix Hard Court Ball

This particular tennis ball brand is famous for its secret rubber core formula. The Dunlop Grand Prix core is made up of 14 ingredients, making it very durable and helped put it on our list of the best tennis balls.

Dunlop Grand Prix balls for hard court won't lose its bounce. Its extra duty felt is woven to give a certain special feel for the users. The MaxGlo Technology makes the ball 14% brighter than normal tennis balls, allowing the player to better spot and react to the ball. 

Pros

  • Bright colors makes it easy to spot
  • Consistent performance for tournament-style play
  • Made with premium woven felt
  • Excellent choice for all types of surfaces, especially hard surfaces

Cons

  • Not as well-known as Wilson

2. Penn Pro Marathon Extra-Duty Tennis Balls

Penn Pro Marathon

Next on our list for the best tennis balls, we have these extra duty tennis balls by Penn, which will be excellent if you prefer to play tennis on a hard court.

Penn boasts its LongPlay woven felt, which makes these balls the company’s long lasting tennis balls. This pack should serve for a long time no matter how aggressive a player you are, especially given that you are getting 72 tennis balls!

Pro Marathon balls also feature Penn’s Smart Optik technology, which is designed to improve the ball’s visibility.

Pros

  • Balls are great for outdoor courts or other hard courts
  • High quality LongPlay Felt
  • Penn's Smart Optik Technology
  • Comes with 72 Balls

Cons

  • Great for hard court surfaces but not soft court surfaces like clay courts or grass courts

3. Wilson US Open Extra Duty Tennis Ball

Wilson US Open XDuty Tennis Ball

The Wilson US Open Extra Duty Tennis Ball has been a classic and dependable tennis ball for the past 40+ years. The Wilson Brand is the official ball of the US Open and has been used at every US Open. That has made the Wilson US Open one of the most recognizable tennis balls. This hard court tennis ball has tremendous consistency and the performance makes it the standard on the tennis court. The Wilson US Open Extra Duty is crafted with felt.

Pros

  • USTA and ITF Approved for competitive play
  • Wilson US Open Extra Duty is Ideal performance on hard, abrasive courts
  • Offering the best consistent bounce and performance on hard courts
  • High quality and consistent bounce

Cons

  • The Wilson US Open Extra Duty is not great for soft courts like clay courts or grass courts

Best Practice Tennis Balls & Best Beginner Tennis Balls

1. Penn Championship Extra Duty Tennis Ball

Penn Champion Tennis Balls

The best thing about the Penn Championship Extra Duty balls is their very long lifespan. The Penn Championship Extra Duty tennis ball lifespan is important if you're on a budget, and that is why it made our list of the best tennis balls. As compared to most tennis balls in the market today, the Penn Championship tennis ball is on a different level when it comes to its durability.

This is mainly because the Penn Championship Extra Duty ball is made out of a natural rubber core material. It makes it consistent with its bounce and speed, giving the users higher playability and reduced impact. The interlocking fibers in its extra duty felt add to the longevity of the hard court tennis ball. The elastic seams are woven deep to reduce cracking. These tennis balls are used and designed for rough surfaces. 

Pros

  • Best balls for overall performance for hard courts, and great for beginner skill level
  • Natural rubber offers consistent feel and reduced shock
  • Interlocked fibers
  • Balls are Great for outdoor courts or other hard courts
  • Excellent choice for beginners

Cons

  • Great tennis balls for the price but not the best for high-level play

2. Wilson Prime All-Court Tennis Balls

Wilson Tennis Ball

Who said that a tennis ball needs to be high-performance to make our list of best tennis balls? If you want a decent pack of tennis balls that will deliver solid tennis performance, then Wilson’s Prime all-court balls may be the best tennis ball for you. It's great for any skill level, especially beginners. 

Wilson includes 72 balls with this pack for quite an attractive price. The pack itself isn’t cheap, but it’s cheap compared to most others that we overviewed.

Wilson Prime tennis balls are made for use on all court surfaces. The Duraweave felt is responsible for this capability, and while it most likely won’t live long if used on a hard court frequently, it should allow you to enjoy the play for quite some time.

Pros

  • USTA and ITF Approved for competitive play
  • Traditional performance standard, featuring exclusive Duraweave felt
  • Designed for all court surfaces
  • Excellent tennis balls for beginners or practice

Cons

  • Not ideal for competitive play

3. Penn ATP Regular Duty Tennis Balls

Penn ATP Tennis Balls

Durability certainly is important, but what if your playing tennis on soft courts?

The felt on the Penn ATP regular duty balls is also made with the LongPlay technology, but it is designed for soft courts like clay courts. They are durable regular duty tennis balls, but they are going to die very quickly on a hard court.

The Smart Optik technology is again in the Penn ATP regular duty tennis balls, so if you want to increase your performance, these best tennis balls may help.

Pros

  • LongPlay Technology
  • Smart Optik Technology
  • Made with premium woven felt
  • Regular tennis balls ideal option for clay courts or grass courts
  • Ideal for recreational play

Cons

  • Not idea for competitive play

Best Cheap Tennis Balls

Next on our list of best tennis balls is the best cheap tennis balls. The quality of cheap tennis balls is not as good as the regular duty tennis balls, beginner tennis balls, or the best tennis balls, as listed above.

Most of the cheap tennis balls are pressureless, they don’t lose their bounce, and are great for a hard court surface, kids tennis balls, or great for playing catch with your dog. They are also highly recommended for tennis ball machines because tennis ball machines can beat up professional or intermediate tennis balls. It won’t hurt the bank account as much if you use cheap tennis balls in a tennis ball machine.

1. Tourna Mesh Carry Bag of 18 Tennis Balls

practice tennis ball

Continuing our list of best tennis balls, we start with the Tourna Mesh Carry Bag making it first on our list for best cheap tennis balls. 

These types of tennis balls are usually used during practice sessions. It is also a good choice to use in tennis ball machines. It is a set of 18 practice tennis balls that are very durable. As it was mentioned earlier, these types of tennis balls can never lose their bounce. These cheap tennis balls have an added durable and natural felt, which adds to the overall longevity of the ball. These are also great for children starting to play tennis because they don't necessarily need the best.

Pros

  • Pressureless and durable
  • Good tennis balls for kids

Cons

  • Not great for intermediate or beginner tennis player
  • Doesn't bounce higher than pressurized tennis balls

2. Gamma Sports Bucket of Pressureless Tennis Balls

beginner tennis balls

Second on our list for cheap tennis balls is a bucket of pressureless tennis balls from Gamma. It is a set of tennis balls that are usually used during normal practice and training. It is also very durable, like most practice tennis balls. 

However, these pressureless tennis balls can adapt to any tennis court surface. Whether soft or hard, this versatile practice tennis ball can still perform well, making it ideal for longer practice sessions. They also don't have a large bounce like the pressurized tennis balls making them great kids tennis balls.

Pros

  • Best balls for the price and quantity
  • Pressureless tennis balls
  • Tennis balls for hard courts
  • Good tennis balls for kids or beginners
  • High quality for the price
  • Great for ball machines

Cons

  • Not recommended for competitive play
  • Lower bounce

3. KEVENZ Standard-Pressure Tennis Balls

tennis balls for beginners

Finally, last but not least, on our list of the top balls in the world, we have this 12-pack practice tennis ball by KEVENZ. Exceptionally cost-efficient, this tennis ball pack is great for beginners and maybe for experienced tennis players looking for practice tennis balls.

Made from natural rubber core and featuring a polyester felt, these cheap tennis balls boast solid performance and durability on all court surfaces. These practice tennis balls feature elastic seams that are crack-resistant.

The felt is also colored in a vivid neon green color, allowing for great visibility on the court.

With that said, these tennis balls have a relatively weak bounce. This will be a problem for more skilled players, but if you are a newbie, this will make this ball easier to play tennis.

Pros

  • Pressureless tennis balls
  • Balls are great for hard courts
  • Balls are perfect for practice, fetch with your dog, and good tennis balls for kids

Cons

  • Not great for intermediate or higher level of play
  • Lower bounce

How To Choose A Tennis Ball

Now that we have a list of the best tennis balls, let’s have a look at the things that you should care about the most in tennis balls no matter if you are playing tennis singles or doubles

Types of Tennis Balls

The International Tennis Federation specifies the following tennis ball types allowed for competition:

  • Type 1/Fast
  • Type 2/Medium
  • Type 3/Slow
  • High-Altitude

Most commonly used in competition are medium-speed or Type 2 tennis balls. Prior to recent regulation changes, only medium-speed balls were allowed for competition, but now, you can use fast and slow tennis balls as well.

The purpose of fast and slow tennis balls is to change the speed of matches played on different types of court surfaces. Fast tennis balls are used on slow clay tennis courts to speed up the game, while slow balls are used on fast courts to slow it down.

Slow balls are also often used by beginners and recreational players since they are bigger than other ball types. Not only that, the International Tennis Federation allows using these balls above 4,000 feet courts.

With that being said, there also are high-altitude balls specifically designed for use in play above 4,000 feet. Their purpose is to compensate for the pressure changes found the higher up you go – regular balls get very bouncy at high altitudes.

Pressurized vs. Pressureless Balls

tennis ball info

Created by Photoangel - Freepik.com

One of the most important factor to consider when choosing the right tennis ball is its type. You have to ask the seller or look for the technical details about the tennis ball: is it pressurized or pressureless tennis balls?

Pressureless balls are usually used by beginners for practice and recreational games. The bounce of this type of tennis ball is achieved because of its rubber structure but not from the air inside. Therefore, these balls can never lose their bounciness and can actually gain more bounce when it is used over time as the felt gradually wears off.

Pressureless balls have lower internal pressure (no greater than 7 kPa/1 psi) and are less bouncy than pressurized tennis balls. The International Tennis Federation allows medium pressureless balls to be used at altitudes higher than 4,000 feet. However, such a ball needs to be acclimatized for at least 60 days at the site of play.

These balls are also perfect for your tennis ball launcher machine. The longevity of the pressureless balls is an advantage for some. However, some players are not a fan of its heaviness and find it harder to play with this type of ball. If you do use a tennis ball machine, make sure to replace your strings with a tennis racquet stringer as needed.

Pressurized balls, on the other hand, are more common in the market. Mostly, they come with a can of three. These are the ones used during tournaments or big tennis leagues. It is used by intermediate to professional tennis players. Unlike pressureless balls, this type uses the air inside the ball to achieve greater spin, speed, and bounce.

Pressurized tennis balls are stiffer and have a higher bounce than pressureless balls, which makes them quicker. On the other hand, pressurized balls tend to live shorter than pressureless ones since they lose their pressure over time.

High-altitude balls are always pressurized, but they are only used at altitudes over 4,000 feet, as mentioned above. Pressurized high-altitude balls and pressurized medium balls aren’t the same – high-altitude balls are going to have a lower bounce at a given altitude.

What’s your purpose?

Many sports use a variety of accessories and equipment. It is very important for athletes to know all about the technicalities in the equipment being used in the sport because it can make or break their game.

It is true that skills, intelligence, and strength are the most important factors in winning the game.

However, the knowledge of a player about the accessories or equipment used in their particular sport could also mean dominance or failure.

best tennis balls

One of the best examples of that is the sport of tennis. Aside from choosing the right racquet, either if you are a beginner or intermediate player, one of the most essential parts of tennis is choosing the right tennis ball.

Buying tennis balls is all about your purpose. Are you gonna use it for practice, for your tennis ball machine or for casual games with your friends or family? Are you a professional level player that’s looking for the best tennis balls to improve more?

Practice tennis balls like the Tourna is a great choice, they are cheap and somewhat durable. Beginners can choose Wilson Tribute/ Dunlop Progress/ Penn Tribute/ Wilson Starter. While intermediate to pro players can go for Wilson US Open Extra-Duty or a Penn Championship tennis ball.

Regular or Extra Duty Balls?

Tennis balls can also be regular tennis balls or extra duty tennis balls.

I will make this one really simple. A regular tennis ball is suitable for clay courts and indoor courts while extra-duty is great for hard courts.

Regular duty balls are designed for softer courts like clay courts or grass courts, due to which they are sometimes called soft-court balls. Regular duty tennis balls have a less durable cover which picks up less clay on the clay courts and is slower. You can use regular duty tennis balls on hard court surfaces but it is not recommended because the regular duty balls will not last as long. 

Unlike regular duty tennis balls, extra-duty balls have a thicker and more durable felt that is designed to withstand the rougher surface of grass and hard courts. Like the Wilson US Open Extra Duty, these balls are durable, they aren’t used on clay courts or grass courts – they have an abrasion-resistant fuzzy surface which readily picks up dirt and is difficult to clean.

Tennis Balls for Kids and Juniors

There also are separate regulations for tennis balls for kids designed for competition use by children aged 10 and younger.

Variable

Stage 3 Foam (Red)

Stage 3 Standard (Red)

Stage 2 Standard (Orange)

Stage 1 Standard (Green)

Mass (weight)

0.882-1.517 oz.

1.270-1.728 oz.

1.270-1.654 oz.

1.658-1.817 oz.

Size

3.15-3.54’

2.76-3.15’

2.36-2.70’

2.48-2.70’

Rebound

33-41’

35-41’

41-47’

47-53’

Forward Deformation

---

---

0.551-0.650’

0.315-0.413’

Color

Any

Red & yellow, or yellow with a red dot

Orange & yellow, or yellow with an orange dot

Yellow with a green dot

Tennis balls for kids are larger, slower, and less bouncy than adults’ balls. If you have a kid aged 11 or younger, then it may be a better idea to have them play with smaller balls to match their junior tennis racquet

Budget

Generally speaking, tennis balls are affordable but over time the amount can add up and you may end up spending more if you choose the wrong balls. Whether a starter/practice ball or a professional level ball, I prefer to buy them in bulk, and I advise that you should do it too. It is much cheaper in the long run.

Brand

If you’re a fan of a certain brand then go for it. But, I suggest that you also consider or test other brands so you have a knowledge about how different balls work.

Tennis ball numbers

Tennis balls usually have number markings on them, usually from 1 to 4. A common misconception is that the number indicates the bounciness of the ball. In reality, however, the numbers serve one purpose – to allow for ball identification.

This is especially important if you are playing at a site where courts are placed near each other. Tennis balls often bounce or roll onto a neighboring court, and since the ball coloring seems to be generally the same, it may be difficult for you to identify your ball. With a number, it’s easier to do so.

FAQ

Are pressureless tennis balls good?

Depends on your needs. If you’ve used pressurized balls before and think that they’ve been too bouncy for you, then you may want to try pressureless tennis balls. 

We also think that pressureless balls are better for beginners since they are less bouncy and more predictable.

How long do pressurized tennis balls last?

There are no specific timelines, but once you open the can that ensures pressurized storage conditions, pressurized balls will slowly lose their internal pressure.

A few weeks may pass until a significant loss of bounce becomes noticeable. Recreational players probably won’t notice this though but intermediate players will. Great players can notice difference in the fuzz in a tennis ball just after playing with it for a short while. If you are a more experienced player, you may need to replace pressurized balls rather quickly. 

Not that pressurized balls that have lost their pressure are unusable, but they no longer offer the same feel. More skilled players may use aged balls for practice or warm-up, but no more than that.

Can tennis ball cans be recycled?

Most tennis ball cans have a metal rim that is very difficult to remove. This rim makes some cans non-recyclable with other plastics. If you want a recyclable tennis ball can, then look for a can with no metal parts.

How often do you change tennis balls?

As often as you need. This is going to be different for every player. Generally, you should get new tennis balls if you feel that your tennis balls are impairing your performance. This may happen after up to 7-9 games.

1 Comment
  1. Great! Finally, I’m able to choose a best tennis ball for my favorite game.

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