Best tennis balls

The Best Tennis Balls in 2023 with reviews & Buying Guide

With so many different types of balls and players, choosing the best tennis balls in the market depends on what one needs from the game – not mentioning wallet size, since tennis balls can become costly.

Below you can find complete reviews of our favorite models, along with a buying guide, to help you choose the best tennis ball for your needs.

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Top Rated tennis balls

On this Article

Wilson US open

The best of the test

4.8/5
Wilson US Open

The Wilson US Open Tennis ball is the best tennis ball you can buy.

Since they are the official ball of one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, the US Open, they perform as you would expect – absolutely top-notch.

The Wilson tennis balls come in both regular duty and extra duty – we recommend the regular duty ones if you plan to play on clay or grass courts, and the latest if you plan to play tennis on hard courts.

These balls are the most consistent that we have tested in terms of bounce and feel, and by playing with them, you can understand why they are so highly rated among professional players. 

You can expect the felt to stay fluffier than other comparable models for longer – the Wilson US Open is made with premium woven felt, and it does not deteriorate quickly, even in very abrasive courts.

The only downsides of this model are its durability and price tag – its lifespan is somewhat shorter than other models on the market.

However, its performance stays consistent, even in long and high-intensity matches. We recommend the Wilson US Open tennis balls for players who want the best tennis balls on the market. Check the Wilson US Open tennis balls review here.

What sets it apart from its competitors? 

The Wilson US Open tennis balls are incredibly consistent in bounce and spin, as well as regarding their overall performance during their lifespan. Even for competitive, high-intensity plays on abrasive courts, this ball is some points away from its competitors. Our testers considered its Extra duty version the best tennis ball for hard courts. We think this model to be the best tennis ball available. 

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall: 4.8/5
  • Consistency: 5/5
  • Feel: 4.8/5
  • Spin: 4.9/5
  • Durability: 4/5
 

Specs: Brand – Wilson; USTA and ITF approved; Premium Woven Felt; 3 balls cans; Extra-Duty – Ideal for Hard and abrasive courts.

Pros

  • Very consistent
  • Premium feel
  • Allows for high-spin playing styles
  • Excellent construction quality

Cons

  • Not the most durable model

Pro Penn Marathon

2nd best of the test

4.7/5
Pro Penn Marathon

This premium model is meant to compete with the Wilson US Open balls for the title of the best tennis ball. They are incredibly well-designed and consistent. 

Even though they don’t bounce much, this is not a flaw but a design option – meant to appeal to a particular type of player. 

This is a very durable model for its price, mainly due to Penn’s Encore Technology, with a unique core meant to add longevity to the ball.

Also, they use Optik Felt to increase visibility at night or in clay courts, where the ball gets dirtier faster. Check the complete Pro Penn Marathon review here.

What sets it apart from its competitors? 

Excellent durability and performance.

Optik felt for increased visibility.

Not the most bouncy balls, meant to appeal to a certain kind of player.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall – 4.7/5
  • Consistency – 4.9/5
  • Feel – 4.5/5
  • Spin – 4.5/5
  • Durability – 4.4/5
 

Specs: Brand – Penn; ITF and USTA approved; Cans of 3 balls; Optik Felt; Encore Technology

Pros

  • Premium quality and consistency
  • Very durable model
  • Optik felt for increased visibility

Cons

  • Costly tennis balls

Wilson Prime All-Court

Best value for the money & most versatile model

4.6/5
Wilson Prime All Court

The Wilson Prime All Court tennis ball is the best model for players looking for a versatile, high-quality ball that can be played on all courts.

This regular duty model usually lasts less than its extra duty counterparts. However, we were impressed by their durability.

Their quality is top-notch, only second to the Wilson US Open and the Pro Penn Marathon, and they are much cheaper.

This is the tennis ball for those who want a versatile, high-quality model but don’t want to break the bank or replace your tennis balls every game. 

What sets it apart from its competitors?

Premium quality for a fraction of the price.

Higher durability than expected, even on hard surfaces, given that it is a regular-duty model. A very versatile model that performs above what one would expect for its reduced price tag.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall – 4.6/5
  • Consistency – 4.7/5
  • Feel – 4.6/5
  • Spin – 4.6/5
  • Durability – 4.1/5

 

Specs: Brand – Wilson; ITF and USTA approved; Cans of 3 balls; Duraweave fiber: Regular Duty

Pros

  • Premium quality without breaking the bank
  • Durable model
  • Highly versatile model

Cons

  • None

Dunlop Grand Prix

4.5/5
Dunlop Grand Prix

A premium, high-quality model from the Dunlop brand.

Even though some players frowned upon this brand, we had no problems using the Gran Prix.

This model is made specifically for hard courts. However, a regular-duty model is also available for softer surfaces. 

As the Penn Regular Duty, this model is also made with visibility in mind, using Dunlop’s Maxglo felt. As happens with most premium models, the Dunlop Grand Prix Extra Duty is made with performance in mind.

While they are more durable than comparable models, we found them somewhat inconsistent because they’ll go flat anytime.

What sets it apart from its competitors? 

Its enhanced visibility felt and high performance on hard courts.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall – 4.5/5
  • Consistency – 4.1/5
  • Feel – 4.7/5
  • Spin – 4.4/5
  • Durability – 3.9/5
 

Specs: Brand – Dunlop; ITF and USTA approved; Cans of 3 balls; Maxglo Felt; Extra Duty

Pros

  • Great performance ball for hard courts
  • Premium felt with high visibility technology

Cons

  • Not the most consistent model

Slazenger Wimbledon

4.7/5
Slazenger Wimbledon

The Slazenger Wimbledon is the official tennis ball of the mythical grand slam tournament, Wimbledon, which attests to its excellent quality.

They are best suited to play on clay and grass courts and, on these kinds of surfaces, they are one of the best tennis balls we evaluated.

They don’t bounce as high as other models, like the Wilson US Open tennis balls, but this is not necessarily bad. They are much more controllable than their premium competitors. It boils down to the kind of play you enjoy – the Slazenger Wimbledon tennis balls push for a control-type of game.

The Slazenger Wimbledon tennis balls are surprisingly durable if you plan to use them on grass or clay surfaces. However, we don’t recommend this model for hard surfaces, as it tends to fluff quickly. 

They are equipped with Slazenger’s Hydro Guard Technology, which adds a hydrophobic cover to the ball’s felt – perfect for playing in rainy and wet environments.

It is an excellent, consistent, premium tennis ball, aiming to excel on grass and clay courts. 

What sets it apart from its competitors? 

Fantastic performance, quality, and durability.

Its Hydro Guard technology adds a coat to the ball felt, which makes this model perfect for playing on wet surfaces.

We recommend this model for those who want the best, are not hesitant to pay a bit more for premium quality and are looking to play on grass or clay courts.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall – 4.7/5
  • Consistency – 4.9/5
  • Feel – 4.7/5
  • Spin – 4.2/5
  • Durability – 4.2/5
 

Specs: Brand –Slazenger; ITF and USTA approved; Cans of 3 balls; Hydroguard technology; Regular Duty

Pros

  • Great performance ball for grass and clay courts
  • Premium felt with a hydrophobic coat for wet environments

Cons

  • Not suitable for hard courts
  • Expensive

Wilson Trinity

4.7/5
Wilson Trinity

The Slazenger Wimbledon is the official tennis ball of the mythical grand slam tournament, Wimbledon, which attests to its excellent quality.

They are best suited to play on clay and grass courts and, on these kinds of surfaces, they are one of the best tennis balls we evaluated.

They don’t bounce as high as other models, like the Wilson US Open tennis balls, but this is not necessarily bad. They are much more controllable than their premium competitors. It boils down to the kind of play you enjoy – the Slazenger Wimbledon tennis balls push for a control-type of game.

The Slazenger Wimbledon tennis balls are surprisingly durable if you plan to use them on grass or clay surfaces. However, we don’t recommend this model for hard surfaces, as it tends to fluff quickly. 

They are equipped with Slazenger’s Hydro Guard Technology, which adds a hydrophobic cover to the ball’s felt – perfect for playing in rainy and wet environments.

It is an excellent, consistent, premium tennis ball, aiming to excel on grass and clay courts. 

What sets it apart from its competitors? 

Fantastic performance, quality, and durability.

Its Hydro Guard technology adds a coat to the ball felt, which makes this model perfect for playing on wet surfaces.

We recommend this model for those who want the best, are not hesitant to pay a bit more for premium quality and are looking to play on grass or clay courts.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall – 4.7/5
  • Consistency – 4.9/5
  • Feel – 4.7/5
  • Spin – 4.2/5
  • Durability – 4.2/5
 

Specs: Brand –Slazenger; ITF and USTA approved; Cans of 3 balls; Hydroguard technology; Regular Duty

Pros

  • Great performance ball for grass and clay courts
  • Premium felt with a hydrophobic coat for wet environments

Cons

  • Not suitable for hard courts
  • Expensive

Pro Penn Championship

4.3/5
Penn Championship

Advertising themselves as the “#1 best-selling balls in America”, we could not overlook this model.

While they are not as high quality as the Wilson US Open tennis balls, they’re cheaper.

Being ITF-approved, they’re also the official ball of the USTA leagues, attesting to their quality of play.

They are the ideal balls for those who play a lot and are looking to buy in bulk, given their high quality for the price paid.

However, we do not recommend this model for high-intensity players, as they are not built for this kind of play. 

For recreational players, we consider the Penn Championship Tennis Balls to be of great value for the low price they sell for.

What sets it apart from its competitors? 

Lower price for the exciting quality of play they provide.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Overall – 4.3/5
  • Consistency – 4.5/5
  • Feel – 4.3/5
  • Spin – 4.5/5
  • Durability – 4.8/5
 

Specs: Brand – Penn; ITF and USTA approved; Cans of 3 balls; Extra Duty and Regular Duty are available.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Great feel for their price

Cons

  • Not the most durable ball
  • Not recommended for high-intensity players

Different Types of tennis balls

Extra Duty Balls

Extra-duty balls are created with abrasive, hard courts in mind.

They have a more stiff felt, and their core has more wool ovens than regular-duty ones. 

They are more resistant and less likely to fluff when playing, meaning they usually last longer. They also favour a more controlled, slower playing style than regular duty balls.

Regular-Duty Balls

Regular-duty tennis balls are created for grass and clay courts.

They bounce more, are lighter, and favour a faster-paced playing style.

However, they last less than extra-duty ones.

High Altitude Tennis Balls

High-altitude tennis balls are meant to be played in mountains and other places above 4000 feet of sea level.

That counteracts the higher bounce and faster gameplay that high-altitude air pressures force on the tennis ball to give them a similar playing experience to playing in regular altitude courts.

Pressureless (or non-pressurized) tennis balls

Pressureless tennis balls are usually used for kids’ or beginners’ training sessions since they are cheaper and last for longer.

However, they do not have very good performance (except for the innovative Wilson Trinity balls).

They are also the type of balls used with tennis ball machines.

If you are interested in a device of this kind, we recommend you to read our article on the best tennis balls machines, with reviews of the best models.

Training Balls for kids

Training balls for kids are usually larger and lighter in weight than regular tennis balls – perfect for initiating someone in tennis.

They typically come in 4 different colours, with different compressions and sizes:

  • red balls, for kids under 8 years old, with very low compression;
  • orange balls, for kids between 8 and 10 years old, somewhat smaller than red ones and slightly more compressed;
  • yellow balls with green dots for 11 and above years old, mildly compressed and smaller;
  • regular yellow balls, the standard balls adults play with.

How to choose the best tennis balls

Best tennis balls by surface

Best tennis balls for hard courts

The best tennis balls for hard courts are extra-duty ones, meant to withstand the most abrasive surface.

If you regularly play on this surface, we recommend reading our guide on the best tennis balls for hard courts.

Best tennis balls for clay and grass courts

The best tennis balls for clay and grass courts are usually regular-duty ones, with higher bounces since that kind of surface slows down the ball, compared to hard courts.

The ball we recommend for this court is the Slazenger Wimbledon.

Best tennis balls by skill level

We suggest that you don’t immediately buy the absolute best tennis balls there are if you are a beginner.

You won’t feel much difference since you don’t play high at the intensity and speeds that pro players do, and they will last less than cheaper counterparts since they are engineered with high performance in mind, not durability.

We have created an article on how fast do tennis pros hit the ball, so be sure to check the astonishing speeds they reach.

If you are a beginner tennis player, we suggest you invest in all-court balls, like the Wilson Prime All Court, and go up to more expensive balls as your technique progresses.

Best tennis balls by budget

Tennis balls must be replaced frequently, and if you plan on buying the best tennis balls on the market, this can add up.

We suggest you find the mid-term between how much you want to spend and the quality to get the best value for your money. 

Best tennis balls by playing style

Regular duty balls favour a faster-paced and bouncy feeling game than their extra duty counterparts.

Also, hard courts (the most typical tennis surface) tend to accelerate the ball more.

Different tennis balls will suit you better depending on what surface you want to play and how much of a fast-paced game you wish to play. 

Best balls to play tennis at night

Some tennis balls, like the Pro Penn Marathon and the Dunlop Grand Prix, are equipped with high visibility felts, perfect to be seen at night. If you play at night often, this can make a difference. 

Tennis balls FAQ

What is the difference between extra duty and a regular duty tennis ball?

Extra-duty balls are meant for hard, abrasive courts. They are more resistant and less bouncy than regular-duty ones. Since their core and felt are usually thicker, they are also more durable.

Regular duty balls are meant for grass and clay courts. They are usually lighter and bounce more, favouring a fast-paced style of play. However, they last much less than extra-duty ones.

How long do tennis balls last?

It depends – on your playing style, intensity and surface.

Competitive players change balls several times in a match, while recreational ones can play with the same can for up to a whole month, depending on how many times you play.

We made a complete guide on how long tennis balls last, so check it out.

What is the difference between pressurized and pressureless tennis balls?

Pressurized balls are standard tennis balls made with highly compressed air inside their cores. They bounce more than pressureless ones and are the ones we advise you to play with. 

Pressureless tennis balls do not contain compressed air in their cores – they last a lot longer, but they are not very good. They are usually used to teach kids or to train with tennis ball machines.

What do the numbers on the balls mean?

The numbers on the balls are merely an identification feature and do not impact performance at all – if your tennis balls get mixed with the ones on the other court, you can quickly identify which ones are yours. 

Why do I need special balls to play in high altitudes?

High altitudes, superior to 4000 feet above the sea, tend to make regular tennis balls bounce more. To recreate the playing style you would have in an ordinary court, these balls are heavier to counter this.

To wrap up

There are many different types of tennis balls. While some are made with performance in mind, others are more durable and can save you some money. 

For the best tennis balls, we reccomend the Wilson US Open model.

The Wilson Prime All-Court are the most versatile model we have tested and are the ones that pack the most value for money.

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