Racket Ninja is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you).

The Best Tennis Ball: Key Features to Look For To Have The Great Bounce

tennis ball on ground

Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Though it may come as a surprise if you are new to the sport, tennis balls have an enormous impact on the outcome of a tennis match. Some players may even go so far as to say that playing with the right tennis ball can make or break a game.

Because of that...

If you’re struggling with improving your skills on the court, it might be time to look for a tennis ball better suited to your needs. To help narrow down your choices, we've put together a list of the seven best tennis balls, with rankings based on price, durability, bounce, and weight.

Out of all the products we reviewed, the Wilson US Open proved to be the best tennis ball overall. However, details about other top contenders are also included to help you find the perfect tennis ball.

The Top 7 Best Tennis Balls Reviewed

1. Wilson US Open – Best Overall

Wilson US Open High Altitude Tennis Ball - 3 Ball Can

The Wilson US Open tennis balls have been used as the official tennis balls for the US Open since 1976- making them one of the most popular choices for tennis players in the United States.

I’ve been playing with these tennis balls for many years and they have always impressed me with their quality as well as durability.

They are also very consistent in terms of bounce and feel, offering the same exceptional performance as soon as you open the can.

The Wilson US Open tennis balls are available in two styles: regular duty and extra duty. You can decide on which variant to choose based on where you intend to play.

Wilson US Open Regular Duty balls are regarded as the best tennis balls for clay courts, with soft felt manufactured by Tex Tech Industries helping you play longer. If you are more comfortable with playing on harder courts, however, you can always buy the same tennis balls in extra duty for a similar experience.

Pros

  • Consistency in performance
  • Made from high quality felt
  • Regular Duty tennis balls are best for clay courts

Cons

  • Wear out quickly so may need to be replaced regularly

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a professional-grade quality tennis ball to play with indoors, the Wilson US Open is a fantastic choice. The consistency in bounce and feel offered by these can help to further improve your performance on the court.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


2. Wilson Prime All Court – Best Value for Money

Wilson Prime All Court Tennis Balls - Single Can (3 Balls)

Wilson Prime All Court tennis balls are another great contender in the hunt for good tennis balls. The soft felt material coupled with a very low price easily makes these among the best tennis balls for beginners in particular.

I bought these in bulk for cheap when I was still learning how to play tennis. They offer good performance on both soft and hard courts as well as enough durability to last a season.

The standout feature of these low-priced tennis balls is their consistency.

You can use them for weeks on end on all types of courts and still have them keep the same bounce regardless.

They are a great alternative to the more costly Wilson US Open tennis balls which are also famous for their consistency.

The Wilson Prime All Court tennis balls are reasonably priced compared to other tennis rackets on the market and can last casual players a long time. However, if you’re an intermediate tennis player more interested in tournaments, you may find these a bit lacking in terms of performance.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Very consistent in terms of bounce
  • Can be played on both clay and hard courts
  • Can last casual players a long time

Cons

  • Felt material is of low quality
  • Not ideal for advanced players

Takeaway

The Wilson Prime All Court tennis balls are much cheaper than other tennis balls on the market, offering great consistency and durability on all courts. However, if you’re a more advanced player, this particular brand may not be the best fit.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


3. Penn Championship Extra Duty - Best Option for Practice

Penn Championship Tennis Balls - Extra Duty Felt Pressurized Tennis Balls - (2 Cans, 6 Balls)

Penn has arguably been the best tennis ball brand in America since its inception in 1910. Over a century later, the brand is still regarded as the number one seller of tennis balls for tennis players of all levels.

I’ve played with tennis balls from various brands, and I’ve always found the Penn Championship Extra Duty to be the best practice tennis balls because of their durability. Made from interlocked wool fiber, they are sure to last you a long time.

What makes Penn Championship Extra Duty balls among the best tennis balls in the market is their consistent feel.

Even though the bounce on these is average, the consistency and durability still make them a great choice for beginners.

However, if you are on a budget, you may need to think twice before buying these as they are considerably more expensive than other brands being offered.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Consistency in feel
  • Reduced shock
  • Good choice if playing on hard courts

Cons

  • Average bounce
  • Expensive

Takeaway

If you don’t mind spending a little more to get the best tennis ball for practice, the Penn Championship Extra Duty is your perfect choice. The consistency and durability offered by these tennis balls make it ideal for those looking for a product that will last them a long time.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


4. Pro Penn Marathon - Longest Lasting

Pro Penn Marathon Regular Tennis Balls (1 Can) - YellowThe Pro Penn Marathon is a superior quality tennis ball from Penn, designed specifically for advanced players looking to improve their play.

If you are looking for a tennis ball that can keep up with you while you play long matches, the Pro Penn Marathon is an excellent choice. It features Encore Technology meant to help the tennis ball last a long time.

Despite playing with the Pro Penn Marathon for several weeks, I didn’t notice any decrease in performance or bounce. The durability provided by this ball easily makes it among the best tennis balls available today.

An added advantage of this tennis ball is the fact that it maintains its performance on all surfaces.

You can even play with this on a wet court with no effect on the quality of the game.

However, this may not be best suited for beginners as it is slightly heavier than the average tennis ball.

Pros

  • Lasts a long time
  • Bright color for optimum visibility
  • Maintains same quality for weeks
  • Can be played with on all surfaces
  • Suitable for all surfaces

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than the average tennis ball
  • More expensive

Takeaway

The Pro Penn Marathon will last you a long time on the court while also maintaining the same high level of performance. Though they may be a bit too heavy for a beginner just starting, advanced players will find these tennis balls to be worth their money.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


5. Penn Tribute - Best for All Courts

Penn Tribute Tennis Balls - All Courts Felt Pressurized Tennis Ball

If you’re a tennis player that loves to play both outdoors and indoors, the Penn Tribute tennis ball is a great choice. Made of interlocked wool fiber and deep elastic, their durability makes these among the best tennis balls for hard courts, clay courts, as well other playing surfaces.

The Penn Tribute has similar features to the Pro Penn Marathon but is available at a cheaper price. It is also lighter in weight, making it a great choice for beginners.

This tennis ball checks out in terms of bounce, feel, and durability- but has a very strong chemical smell that stays for a long time. It didn’t personally bother me too much, though it may be a deal-breaker if you’re more sensitive to smells.

Pros

  • Plays well on all courts
  • Durable material
  • Consistent bounce and feel
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Strong chemical smell
  • Not very long-lasting

Takeaway

If you don’t mind strong smells and are looking for a good quality tennis ball to play with on all courts, the Penn Tribute can be a solid option. Though the ball may not last very long, its performance for the price will be sure to impress.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


6. Slazenger Wimbledon - Best for Tournaments

Slazenger Wimbledon Tennis Balls

Amid the unintentional competition between Penn vs Wilson tennis balls emerges a new candidate by the brand Slazenger.

The Slazenger Wimbledon is the most expensive tennis ball on our list is, specifically designed for competitive play.

What makes this tennis ball unique is the technology used in its manufacturing.

The tennis ball is made of premium woven cloth with patented hydro guard technology, designed to repel up to 70 percent more water than your average tennis ball.

This means that even if your tennis court is wet, you can still play just as well!. The bounce and feel of the tennis ball will also not be affected.

The Slazenger Wimbledon offers great visibility for both players and spectators, while also delivering in terms of performance, freshness, and durability.  

Pros

  • Water repellent technology
  • Optimum visibility
  • Can be played with on all courts
  • Lasts a long time

Cons

  • Much more expensive than other tennis balls being offered

Takeaway

Amateurs may find the Slazenger Wimbledon too pricey for practice, but the performance and durability they offer make it among the best tennis balls around for tournaments.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


7. Wilson Triniti - Best Bounce

Wilson Triniti Tennis Ball - 3 Ball Can

The Wilson Triniti is another excellent tennis ball by Wilson, offering high-tech features designed to increase durability and performance.

These tennis balls are marketed as eco-friendly, packaged in a cardboard tube that can be recycled after use.

Although this is a wonderful initiative by the brand, I did find myself feeling skeptical about how the ball would perform. From my experience, non-pressurized balls were usually very hard and didn’t offer much in terms of bounce and control.

Despite my initial fears, however, the Wilson Triniti tennis ball offered great bounce right out of the can- easily becoming one of the best hard-court tennis balls I’ve ever played with.

The ball features a new Engage core which certainly helps boost performance, but does make the ball overall heavier. If you are more used to lighter tennis balls, switching to this may make your wrist hurt.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Engage core boosts performance
  • Excellent bounce
  • Lasts a long time

Cons

  • Poor felt quality
  • Heavier than the average tennis ball

Takeaway

Along with being eco-friendly and durable, the Wilson Triniti is one of the best tennis balls for hard courts because of its long-lasting bounce and superior performance. If you don’t mind the extra weight, this tennis ball can be an excellent choice to switch to.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


What Type Of Tennis Balls Should Beginners Use?

One of the most common questions asked by tennis players of all types is: What are the best tennis balls for me?

Learning how to play tennis as a beginner is already difficult enough. If you’re using a more advanced tennis ball while practicing, it can make the experience much more draining than it needs to be even you're using the best tennis ball hopper.

To help you out, I’ve created a list of key features to look out for when searching for a beginner-friendly tennis ball.

Pressureless vs. Pressurized

Many amateur players that are just starting may not be aware of this, but whether or not your tennis ball is pressurized or pressureless can have a significant difference in longevity, trajectory, and bounce height of the ball.

hand holding a tennis ball

These small factors can end up affecting overall game performance.

The main difference between the two lies in longevity. Pressurized tennis balls are a bit less durable than pressureless ones.

According to many tennis ball ratings online, pressurized tennis balls tend to lose their bounce easily, with reports of the surface of pressurized tennis balls falling flat after a short amount of time.

Pressureless tennis balls, on the other hand, are preferred by most people for practice or recreational play. They are the balls mostly found in tennis ball machines because of their long life.

Pressurized tennis balls are usually used by professionals looking for great performance and bounce. As a beginner, you may find it easier to play with a pressurized tennis ball, but it isn’t recommended for practice.

Instead, a pressureless tennis ball would be a more suitable choice as you won’t need to replace it any time soon.

Regular Duty vs. Extra Duty

Similar to pressurized and pressureless tennis balls, whether or not the tennis balls being used are regular duty or extra duty can have a difference in play.

The main difference between the two is what surface they are designed for.

Regular duty tennis balls are designed to be played on soft court surfaces. This includes grass fields or clay courts.

The design aspect responsible for this lies in the thinness of the felt covering over the regular duty ball. This allows the ball to absorb less clay on the court.

On the other hand, extra-duty tennis balls are designed with a thicker fiber covering, ensuring an appropriate bounce height. They are also a bit more durable and can bear the brunt of harder surfaces better than their regular duty counterparts.

Though technically this aspect has more to do with where you play rather than your skill level, I would still recommend a beginner to go for an extra duty tennis ball if given the option. That extra durability will help your ball last longer as you practice.

If you’re still unsure, you can watch the video below to get a better understanding of which tennis ball you should use for a specific tennis court.

Recreational, Championship, Or Professional

When you are purchasing a tennis ball, you might be asked how often you will be playing.

This is usually asked because depending on whether you are an occasional recreation player, serious championship player, or professional tennis player, there are different tennis balls manufactured by top companies.

Recreational balls are those that are used most for tennis machines or beginner amateur players who play as a hobby. They are usually used for practice situations.

Championship tennis balls, on the other hand, are slightly more heavy-duty and can be used for matches in leagues or smaller competitions.

The last category is that of Professional tennis balls. These are the highest quality, crafted specifically for seasoned players on the court. If you’re a beginner, it would be best to avoid using these to play until you are a bit more experienced.

All of these tennis balls come in at drastically different price points, so be sure to do your research before purchasing!

And before I wrap this up… let me shoot this question: Do you ever wonder why tennis balls are yellow or green?

Final Thoughts

Based on both tennis ball reviews and my personal experience, I believe that the Wilson US Open is the best out there in terms of consistency, bounce, material, control, and overall performance on the court.

The Wilson US Open is made up of high-quality felt material which provides maximum durability and consistency in performance- easily making it among the best tennis balls for this year.

However, if you are looking for a less expensive tennis ball offering similar features to our top pick, the Wilson Prime All Court is a fantastic alternative.

Providing you all of the consistency of the US Open for a fraction of the price, this tennis ball will give you the best value for your money.

In the end, we hope we were able to help you choose what would be the best tennis ball for you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top