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Tips For Playing Offensive And Defensive Tennis
Every now and again we’ll see a tennis match that reminds us of why we fell in love with the game. At its best, it can be a thrilling chess-like game; offense versus defense, probing for a weakness and looking for the right time to hit that killer shot. Whether you’re inspired by the man on top or the person refusing to be beaten, here are some tips for playing both offensive and defensive tennis with good racquet .
Three Offensive Tennis Tips
1. Keep your opponent on the move
If you’re in control, you’ll want to stay that way, and there’s no better way to do that than to keep your opponent moving. It’s easier than it sounds; just hit the ball into space, forcing your opponent to scramble and not have time to hit an accurate return. You’ll tire them out in no time, and victory will be yours.
2. Attack the net
Once your opponent is hitting those defensive floaters, it’s time to attack the net. By anticipating such a shot and moving towards the net, you can hit a powerful overhead shot and potentially win the point, or at least force a wild and inaccurate reply from your foe. Go in for the kill – go in to the net.
3. Serve and volley
Whilst a hard technique for even many professionals, having a good serve and volley game can be an effective offensive technique. Hitting a hard, accurate serve will see little in way of a return, giving you a great chance to volley home to victory.
Three Defensive Tennis Tips
1. Get into position
If your opponent has the upper hand, don’t worry about hitting a point-winning return – it’s unlikely to come off. Instead, try for a high lob-type return with plenty of topspin. Whilst not a hard shot for your opposite number to attack, it can buy you valuable time to run into position whilst the ball’s in the air, giving you a better position to win the point from.
2. Make your opponent pay
An opponent rushing towards the net is an opponent who smells blood and wants to go in for the kill – don’t give them that satisfaction. By hitting a lob or shot close to the net, you’ll have a good chance of winning the point, or at least force them back to the baseline with their tail between their legs.
3. Practice your footwork
Footwork is essential in tennis, especially if you’re in a defensive phase where you’ll have to move around the court. By improving your footwork, you’ll have a better chance of getting to your opponent’s shot and then getting into a better position to attack from.
In truth, it’s impossible to say which of offensive and defensive tennis styles is the “best” way to play. Whilst offensive players may look better on the screen, the better players are capable of playing both styles and, more importantly, they know when to play each style. By practicing both, you can become a better all round player and a player to be feared.
Important Ways to Prepare for a Tennis Match
If you ask any decent tennis players, they’ll tell you that when it comes to playing a match, a large part of it is won and lost before you even step foot on the court. Good preparation is key to winning any tennis game, providing you with the right physical and mental states that are key to winning and avoiding injury. Here are some important ways to prepare for a tennis match.
Days in advance
Preparing for a tennis match doesn’t just mean the day of the game; it begins days in advance.
• Providing you know your opponent, you’ll want to study his playing style for ways to find out how to defend against his attacks and beat him.
• If you know you’re going to be playing a defensive tennis player, try to practice against a defensive player, and vice versa. This way, you’ll know what to expect and what shots to hit to win.
• Ensure you’re physically fit. Not only will you have a better chance of performing at a higher level for a longer time, it’ll help to prevent injuries. Cardio and practice matches will keep you in tip top shape for your match.
The Morning of the Match – At Home
By staying away from the bar the night before and being well rested, you can maximize your chances of victory.
• Make sure to set an alarm to wake up 2-3 hours before your match, ensuring your body is fully awake and not too tired.
• Make sure to eat right. This means avoiding foods like dairy or high oil foods and taking onboard fruits, cereals and carbs like toast for energy.
• Hydration isn’t just something that you do during the match – it starts way before. Make sure to drink plenty of water and electrolytes to hydrate your body for the grueling physical activity you’re about to undertake.
On the Court
Once you’re on the court, your physical and mental preparation is key to success.
• Start with a quick 15-minute physical warm-up, making sure that your muscles are stretched to protect against injury.
• Next comes your technical preparation. Here you’ll want to run through specific plays or shots with your best tennis racquet, practicing your strikes and serves. Ideally, you’ll spend 30-45 minutes with this preparation.
• Next comes mental preparation. If you’re in a long match or in a lengthy tiebreak situation, it can often be mental preparation that proves to be the key to victory. Rest alone to avoid any distractions and focus on just the match ahead and how you’re going to play it. Remind yourself of your skills and qualities and how you can win the match. If you believe it, you can achieve it.
• Finally, before the game starts you’ll practice with your opponent. It’s the last chance you’ll get to practice, so strike the ball and practice as though the match has already started.
Play Your Best Game
When you’re on that court all the preparation you have done will give you the best possible platform from which you can achieve victory. Sometimes you will lose, and that’s okay. Even the greats lost games. Treat it as extra motivation for your next match, train harder and eventually your hard work will pay off.
A Tennis Lesson for Beginners
Tennis is a sport with a long proud history, with illustrious champions, epic matches and unforgettable moments. Every time a major competition comes around, people around the world begin to take an interest in the sport and want to learn to play. So whether you’re new to the sport completely or you’ve been watching for years thinking, “I could make that shot!” here’s our lesson for beginners.
If you’re going to learn to play, first you need to be familiar with the tennis court itself.
- At the top and bottom of the court horizontally are the baselines. The baseline is where serves are taken and they mark the limits of the court; any shot which lands outside the baseline will cost you the point.
- Running vertically at the edges you’ll find two sets of lines on either side. The innermost lines on either side mark the width of the playing court for singles matches, whereas the outermost lines act as the width for a doubles game. Shots outside of these lines will cost you the point.
- In the middle you’ll find a net. During a serve, hitting the net will force you to retake the serve, but it’s legal to hit during a rally – though to do so intentionally is considered unsportsmanlike.
Nobody wants to walk to their first practice with a hockey stock and a football, so take note here!
- The equipment used to strike the ball is called a racquet. If you’re new to the sport, make sure to pick one with a wider head, to ensure you don’t miss the ball.
- Tennis balls are obviously essential and can be bought in most good sporting goods stores. Don’t opt for bottom of the line balls; they won’t bounce as well and won’t last as long, making it harder to practice.
- For beginners, don’t bother about wearing specialist tennis clothing. Wear something that’s comfortable, lightweight and that won’t restrict you’re movement too much.
Ball Striking Basics
Follow these tips and you’ll go from a nobody to a Nadal in no time.
- For a forehand strike – that’s a strike on your stronger side – turn your hips and shoulders to your dominant side, pull back and swing from low to high. The ball tends to go where your racquet is facing, so try to keep it aimed in that direction.
- With a backhand, your hips and shoulders should face your non-dominant side and you swing low to high hitting the ball with the back of your racquet.
- Serving overhead involves throwing the fall in the air and striking at its highest point but don’t worry, it’s a hard skill and it’s perfectly acceptable for beginners to serve underhand.
The Most Important Thing? Practice
It’s one thing to read about it, but to become a decent tennis player practicing regularly is what the doctor – or coach, in this case – ordered. It’s tempting to give up if you don’t get it straight away, but you should stick it out – nobody was born a champion, and they certainly never got that far by quitting. After all, practice makes perfect.
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Serving Rules And Tactics Of Tennis
Every new point with tennis always starts with a serve. The person who is serving stands behind the right (or left) side on their end of the court, behind the last white line (the baseline). This signifies that they’re standing outside the court. One can stand to the far right on the edge of the court or almost in the center. Players often find it helpful to change position depending on where they are aiming. After each serving (up to two serves), you change from the right to the left side (or visa-versa) to serve as the next point.
The idea with the serve is to strike the tennis ball and send it over the net and into the box on the diagonally opposite side of the court to where you are standing. Once this is achieved with frequency, you will start to improve your serves by targeting corners of the box to make it harder for your opponent to return the server (by hitting it back over the net inside the court). While striking the tennis ball cleaning is, of course, important, the central focus is directed towards accuracy. Advanced tactics include hitting to the weaker side of your opponent (perhaps their backhand is not as strong as their forehand). Don’t be afraid to mix it up too, so that your servers are not predictable.
When you’re up for serving, you only get two serves on one side of the court to get the ball into the opposite box just over the net. Hitting the net is acceptable as long as the ball lands in the correct box. The first serve tends to be one that’s struck hard and aggressively. There is a greater risk of missing the box or hitting the net this way, but it leads to the best results.
With the second serve, failing to hit the ball correctly and landing it into the correct box on the other side of the net leads to losing a point in the current set. Because of this, you should be more cautious with your serve to ensure it reaches its intended target. Players typically aim more for the center of the box (to account for error) and strike the ball less hard (to reduce miss-strikes) with second serves.
Which Area to Target?
The serving box is divided into three main sections. These are known as straight through the middle, wide and the main body. Serves aimed out wide target the near edge of the court and risk being ruled out of court, but get the opponent having to stretch to reach the ball. Alternatively, with the middle area, aim as close to center as possible. Lastly, the middle is where one should aim at a second serve when leveling or down on points in a set. You would be smart to vary your serving to keep your opponent constantly guessing what you’ll do next.
A deliberate short serve is one that barely gets over the net and bounces at the front of the box. For opponents waiting at their baseline, they then have a long way to run to reach the ball before it bounces a second time and they’ve lost the point. This type of serve usually leads to extended rallies at the net which is exciting.
Which is Helpful One-handed or Two-handed Backhand
It is often a tough decision whether to play using a one-handed backhand grip or a two-handed backhand grip. There are pros and cons to every case. To complicate matters, every player is different, and they may even differ between the use of one or two hands for backhand returns over time with the best tennis racquet.
One-handed Backhand Only
Before 1970, tennis players were only one-handed with backhand hits. With the etiquette of respectable,to use two handssimply was not done and so didn’t show up in any training manuals of the era.
Enter Bjorn Borg
The successful tennis player Bjorn Borg changed all that. With the combination of his two-handed backhand and numerous winning matches, a change swept across the tennis landscape and players quickly adjusted to using both hands to grip the racket.
Which Is Easier for Beginners?
For many beginners, being able to use two hands for their backstroke is reassuring. This is particularly the case for women and children. Mostly in the latter case, the strength available in their shoulder, arm, and wrist make it difficult to strike the ball with any real power. When using a two-handed grip, it is easier to keep the racket steady, flow through the shot, and use more of the body and strength from both arms to strike the ball more powerfully.
Two-handed for Improved Accuracy?
Using two-hands, once comfortable with doing so, with a backhand shot offers the potential for greater accuracy. We say here, potential, not guarantee. For some players, using two hands gives them greater confidence when hitting the ball and offers the potential for more purposeful follow-thru action too.
Is Single-handed Better for Reach?
When a ball it returned into the corner near the baseline, it often takes a fully outstretched arm to reach the ball before it sails past. For two-handed players, this severely restricts their ability to return the ball because they are not able to plant their feet and reach as far with this type of grip. Simply put, one-handed backhand offers greater range.
Slices Best with One-Handed Backhand
A slice shot where one adds backspin to the ball to make it spin backward after bouncing is a single-handed move. Trying to use two hands to perform a slice doesn’t achieve pleasing results. Don’t trust us? Try it for yourself and see!
Power Backhand Shots Are Always Two-handed?
It is a fair observation that the harder shots are often delivered two-handed from the backhand. Not every player is the same. Some players are just uncomfortable using a two-handed grip regardless of the benefits. Other players prefer to stay single-handed to avoid juggling between single-handed grip for some strokes (like slices) and switching to two-handed grip for their backhand. Worst case, they could drop their racket in the middle of a point while switching their grip.
There is no right or wrong answer with how many hands to use for a backhand grip. Ultimately, there are pros and cons to each approach. It also comes down to what the tennis player is comfortable with and requires, rather than correct and incorrect technique.
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Tips To An Overgrip On A Tennis Racket
Before we explain how to put an over grip on correctly, we should cover why using one is important for tennis players. Every tennis racket comes with its grip. It is there to be used. However, even professional players usually avoid doing so.The reason that players don’t use the original grip is that it will wear down and wear out over time. When this happens, it becomes problematic to remove without leaving parts of the grip still on the tennis racket handle. Alternatively, when using an overgrip to cover over parts of the original grip that have worn down or worn away, the new grip will feel uneven.
Using an Overgrip Avoids Damage to the Original Grip
To prevent the kind of issues described above, an overgrip is applied to a new tennis racket which can wear down over time. It is then possible to remove it, without damaging the original grip, and replace the overgrip with a new one. By managing the grip this way, it avoids making the handle uneven for experienced and inexperienced players.
How to Put an Overgrip on a Tennis Racket
Putting on an overgrip onto a tennis racket is performed differently depending on whether the player who will use the racket is left-handed or right-handed.
Firstly, most grips secure the end of it with a double-sided tape. This helps it stay in place. Some products, like the Tourna grip, don’t include a double-sided tape design but work equally well. When there isn’t a double-sided tape, it is a little harder to apply the grip correctly to the racket. But in most cases, what is needed is practice.
Secondly, with the double-sided tape (if any) removed, you’re ready to begin. For right-handed players, take the racket in the left hand (or right hand for left-handed players) and place the end of the grip at the very end of the handle. The tape must line up with the edge of the end, but not overlap it. Stick it down and then wrap it all the way around the handle covering the very end of the original grip, so there are no gaps at the bottom of the tennis racket handle.
Continuing, once this first circle of the grip has been put in place, begin angling downwards modestly to let the grip start to coil around the handle. While doing so, keep a finger on the edge of the grip to maintain it’s starting position; this avoids the grip unraveling while putting it into place. The amount of tension when pulling on the overgrip while coiling it around the handle must be consistent throughout the process. The angle also must be consistent too. Once the handle is fully wrapped, secure the tape either with the included double-sided tape or with electrical tape.
It can often take a few tries at this process before you get the handle of it. There’s no harm in starting over to get just the right tension and good angle for a perfect fit. Once the racket is ready, hit the courts to see how it feels in hand.
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How To Hit The Best Backhand In Tennis
A backhand hit is either performed single-handed and two-handed. It is entirely up to the player whether they wish to play two-handed. For faster returns, a two-handed technique offers better protection from the speed of the opponent’s hit while still offering the ability to return the shot powerfully.
Grip Comes First: One-handed or Two-handed
The first step is the grip. It is either two-handed with either the dominant hand placed first (or last) or one-handed. Whichever feels comfortable is usually right for the player. Once the ball is within reach, spread the legs for a wider stance, and rotate the shoulders so that the arm and racket move together in a single motion.
It’s All in the Shoulder
The player must be side on to the ball with their shoulder aiming down the line towards the net. The shoulder that’s the dominant one faces the net. The weight distribution must be on the back foot before winding up to use the backhand. The knees are also bent a little, and the racket starts that the 2’O clock position ready. The weight slowly moves from the back foot to the front foot as the shot it was taken.
Relaxation is Key
Some players grip their tennis racket like their life depends on it. The reality is that often causes a forced error, sending the tennis ball in the wrong direction. The racket head is commonly below the level of the ball initially, to reduce the amount of pressure on the wrist. It is lifted up as the ball comes near and then brought down in a sweeping motion to create sufficient speed to hit the ball, sending it powerfully back over the net.
Depending on the angle of the racket and the speed it is brought down, topspin may be added to deliver extra forward bounce to the ball. While doing this, grip firmly without strangling the grip tape in the process. Obviously, you don’t want to drop the racket, but you also don’t want the grip to be too stiff either.
Slicing for Extra Points
The process of slicing a backhand shot creates a new difficulty for the opponent. They may not see the player performing the slice in time to run forward to return the shallow ball. The sliced backhand loops somewhat in the air, falling short of where the opponent often expects and then it typically moves back towards the net again. This increases the difficulty in reaching the ball in time and returning it well.
Returning a backhand powerfully and well is all about it feeling right in the moment. The racket needs to feel comfortable in hand. The weight and its distribution must be suited to the strength of the player to get the best out of the racket. Incorporating top spin or slices to some backhand shots is also important to surprise the opponent, keeping them on their toes, quite literally, making it harder to reach the ball in time.
An effective backhand can be equally as good as a smash from a forehand shot. In many ways, the best backhand in tennis has a greater variety than a forehand shot which comes into play with experienced players who know how to mix it up to create surprises.
Advanced Tennis Skills and Techniques
When wanting to improve as a tennis player, or just to be more competitive, there are some useful techniques and skills one can acquire to improve your ratio of wins over losses. Here, we cover a few of the better ways to boost your game to the next level.
Charging the Net
Running from the baseline up to net is a good idea when sending a strong serve into the corner of their court or simply when hitting hard and deep. One must judge whether your opponent can strongly return the ball or will barely get the ball over the net. In the latter case, it is often a simple matter to return their ball away from their current position, to finish the point.
With balls that are being sent high towards you, it’s possible to use an overhead shot to return the ball over the net. Sometimes it’s necessary to bend the knees a little bit when the ball falls lower than expected before reaching you.
The elongated swing is one that begins with your tennis racket head up high and arches down to eventually hit the approaching ball using the forehand or backhand. The effect of performing this swooping motion is to add greater speed to the return. Make sure you have a powerful racket, and it’s been well-strung to avoid damaging your equipment with a hard return shot.
When your opponent has come directly to the net line, there is an opportunity to return the ball using an upwards directed lob. The idea here is to angle the racket diagonally upwards to bounce the ball over the opponent’s head. This ensures that they:
- a) cannot reach it,and
- b) it lands on their side of the court
The shot takes the time to practice and succeed at.
The slice is an angled shot where the racket starts above the ball with the head shown with the top closest to you and the bottom of the head tilted 45-degrees. The racket is then brought down to strike the ball in the center while continuing to bring it diagonally through the ball’s position. The racket ends up in a low position. The effect is to slice the ball which causes it to fall short and usually spin backward after it’s bounced on the court. When doing so, often your opponent will miss-judge the likely position of the ball and must run to reach it.
The drop-shot is, to some degree, the opposite of the “Charging the Net” technique. Instead of rushing to the net and returning the ball hard into the corner of the opponent’s court, the drop shot involves a delicate touch. The racket is positioned below the ball and brought up to gently kiss it, rather than striking the ball hard. The idea here is to use the natural bounciness of the gut string tension with the racket to return the ball just over the net. The shorter return causes the opponent difficulty in getting to the net in time.
Leaning forward when serving, while avoiding putting your foot over the line, is a useful way to get a slight advantage. The process of leaning forward helps the arm deliver its maximum speed to the serve and slightly reduces the distance to the net too.
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Tips To Wash Your Tennis Shoes
The more frequently you play a game of tennis, the dirtier your tennis shoes will become. We all have a favorite pair of shoes that we believe is lucky or simply the most comfortable when running around the court, and these get heavily worn over time. To remove the more apparent signs of excessive wear like grass smudge marks and refresh insoles that badly need some deodorizing, it is necessary to wash your tennis shoes. But what is the best way to go about that?Just run through our instructions below to simplify the process.
First, Attack the Insoles
Take the insoles out of the tennis shoes. These get washed on their own and are not part of the main wash.Use a plastic washbowl. Add some water that’s not overly hot, but not tepid either. Use a washing detergent and add an appropriate amount. Get a brush with reasonably soft bristles or if you don’t have one, try a cloth of some kind (an old t-shirt torn into sections will do in a pinch). Dip the brush or cloth into the water to soak it and begin scrubbing the insole. Depending on how much the stains or gravel has been ground into the material, you might need to apply some force with this and take your time. A sponge (artificial or real) is useful to mop up any of the detergent that remains once the cleaning process has been completed.
Even after a thorough wash, should the insoles still be odorous, then try placing baking soda on the insoles, insert into a Zip lock bag, give it a good shake, and then leave it until morning. This should resolve the issue.Failing that, an old trick is to combine water and vinegar and leaving them to soak for half a day. Follow this up by again using baking soda, heated water and a fragrant oil to refresh the insole.
Second, Washing Machine to the Rescue
Most tennis shoes are machine washable. Check the label to make sure before use. Take out the laces to avoid them getting caught up in the metal washing bin and snapping. The laces can be washed by putting them into a fabric pocket or a pillowcase in a pinch.Use a brush to disperse visible caked-on mud and dirt that’s stuck to the shoe. Doing so will deliver a better result.
We suggest washing a pair of best tennis shoes along with a few bathroom wash towels. The towels add some soft protection to the load and avoid the tumbling around during the wash or spin cycle that could damage the shoes. Older towels are best because newer ones sometimes have color dye or particles that will separate and contaminate the shoes.
Apply a liquid washing solution to the machine. Do not use a powdered solution because it tends to deposit inside the tennis shoe. To remove unwanted odors, vinegar is a good solution to sprinkle in the wash bin. Oil, such as pine, is a useful disinfectant, but it must be almost pure.It is important only to use the “delicates” cold cycle to avoid hot water changing the form and shape of your shoes.
With shoes that are over $100, it is worth considering hand-washing. Liquid detergent and warm (not hot) water, is best. Use a scrub to brush against the sole, midsole, and outer sole until they are clean. A cloth is also suitable if a brush is not available. Use a sponge to mop up any detergent.
Using a Dryer
You can dry a pair of wet tennis shoes on the lower heat setting. There is some risk to this because the heat could potentially warp the shape of the shoe. It is a good idea to wrap up the shoes in a towel to avoid damage through direct exposure to heat. Place shoe laces inside a pillowcase to dry them too.Be sure not to leave the shoes unattended. Check the heat level or the response to the heat level careful and frequently.
Drying Outside via Air Drying
The other option is air drying. Here, the drying process is slower. Direct sunlight may alter the colors on the side of the shoe that is directly exposed to the bright rays. It is a good idea to position the tennis shoes beneath a table or in a location that is outside in the warmth but covered to avoid discoloration during the drying process. Stuffing a small hand towel inside each shoe is a smart way to help the shoe maintain its original shape.
Best Tennis Balls Reviews 2017
There is every type of colored tennis balls available to suit aesthetic tastes, but the real choice is when deciding what type of tennis ball you need. There are several levels of balls, and individual types, at varying prices due to their quality and durability differences. The unusual ones include pressureless tennis balls and ones designed for either kids or people new to the sport of tennis who wish to learn slowly.Effective performance and the sustainability of the product are vital aspects to the selection of a good ball. After all, when you hit it right down the middle, you expect it to fly straight and true. You wouldn’t want a pressured ball to go flat on you in the midst of a game, so tennis balls must be reliable enough to not replacing too frequently either.Here we review five of the best tennis balls to see how they might suit your game.
Top 5 Tennis Balls For Beginners
Gamma Sports Quick Kids 36 Training Tennis Balls
The Gamma Sports range of foam tennis balls is an alternative to rubber-based products. The primary intention behind both the Quick Kids 36 and the Revolution models is that they are targeting children keen to play tennis. It is far easier for younger players to repeatedly hit a foam-type ball without tiring out than a rubber one. Both types of ball are larger than regular tennis balls and meet both the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and International Tennis Federation (ITF) stage 3 formats.Whether the child wishes to play to“Tennis 10” or “10 and Under”standards, or on a 36-foot tennis court, both the Quick Kids 36 and Revolution balls are suitable.
The foam material has a two-toned appearance and form that intentionally makes it easier to learn how to apply spin to the ball during gameplay. The use of this material makes it easier for younger players to strike the ball and fire return shots back due to the 75% reduced velocity.A significant distinction with the Quick Kids 36 product is its design to bounce lower to the ground than the Revolution ball which bounces up noticeably higher. For pre-teens who are taller, the Revolution ball is no doubt playable, but with younger kids, the Quick Kids 36 product is a better fit for their reduced height.
The coloring of the Quick Kids 36 product is either yellow with a red pattern or just has yellow coloring alone. For the Revolution balls, they use a yellow and red pattern. Both products initially show the Quick Kids or Revolution branding which will likely wear off during extended play. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep each collection of balls separate if owning both product types to avoid mixing them up accidentally.Both products are available in sets of 12 or 60 balls, and sometimes as a smaller 3-pack too.
Wilson Championship Extra Duty Tennis Ball
Wilson is one of the tennis ball brands that has become synonymous with the sport. Indeed, the company has been supplying the US Open with their tennis balls for every championship from 1978 to the present day. It’s also the official brand of the Australian Open Grand Slam Championships and NCAA Tennis too. As such, it’s difficult to go wrong with a Wilson product given that stamp of approval.Their Championship Extra Duty ball is designed specifically for hard surfaces and supports longer play that runs into multiple sets. It is both ITF and USTA approved too.The product uses Wilson’s blended Dura-Weave wool felt on the exterior of the ball with the goal of improving game performance and the overall endurance of the product. The felt won’t wear off quickly preventing the completion of a match and its use in a follow-up one. The core compound also gets special treatment to ensure improved play through perfect balance and durability.
The Championship rated ball means it is in the mid-tier. It sits above the Recreation type of tennis ball for single matches, but it also lacks the Professional class quality level. For competitive games between friends, this ball is well suited.The Extra Duty ball is also lighter than Professional ones like US Open balls. For players with a lighter swing and female players, the product is likely to be pleasing for this reason. However, for male players who are used to the heavier Pro tennis balls, using this product takes some adjustment to avoid over-hitting it.This is one of the best tennis balls for regular players on hard surface courts.The size 24 balls come in a 4-ball package; one can play with three balls or 4 cans containing 12 balls.
Penn Championship Extra Duty Tennis Balls Value
These Penn Championship tennis balls compete directly with similar products like the Wilson Championship product reviewed above. These are cheap tennis balls, but they still offer good value to players who play on hard court surfaces and need a fireball.The exterior of each ball uses a wool fibrous material that has an interlocking weave for improved longevity under heavy ball striking and hard court surfaces. A natural rubber ensures balance with a predictable response and cuts down on the amount of shock that the ball holds after each hard strike. The elastic seams run deep within the structure of each ball to avoid early cracking which would make the ball unusable. There is a black inked Penn branding across each ball. Each can of balls shares the same numbering to make your ball easier to find when it strays onto a neighboring court.
These Extra Duty balls from Penn are more affordable than Pro Penn tennis balls and likely to hold up very well on harder court surfaces too. Designed to be more durable, you notice that right away when using them. They won’t outperform the likes of US Open, or Pro Penn balls, but their performance delivers excellent value for money nonetheless.The product is available in 36 ballparks spread across 12 cans. The can must be kept sealed after removing a ball to ensure the other balls don’t pop and lose their sealing. It comes with or without the inclusion of an In Prime Time-branded magnet for the refrigerator or car. There is a little bit of confusion about this magnet. It is unconnected to the tennis balls themselves and is merely a trinket to visibly share an interest in the game.
Penn Championship Regular Duty Tennis Balls
The Penn Championship Regular Duty ball holds the distinction of being the No. 1 product of American tennis players. It is also the one used in the USTA League, so that’s a good reference too.The product is intended for use on clay and soft surfaces, not hard courts which would damage it. The ball plays equally well on indoor and outdoor courts.It is made using wool that has an interlocking weave to avoid wearing through too quickly. The rubber is natural to ensure a dependable performance from every ball in the can. The natural rubber core mitigates the shock from hard strikes. To avoid cracking open, the seams of each ball run deep with elastic sealant.
The Regular Duty nature of this product means it is not intended for hard surfaces. The hard-hitting player may also find this product won’t hold up as well as heavy duty balls that they’ve used before in their gameplay. One significant advantage to playing with regular duty ball is that it takes less strength to strike the ball hard enough to hit it back across the net. For anyone with reduced arm strength or who suffers from occasional Tennis elbow pain problems, they’ll be pleased with the reduction (or elimination) of pain after completing several sets using these balls. As a side note, there is a tennis elbow padded available that reduces physical issues relating to this problem.The durability of these balls is reasonable. Indeed, they’re usable for several matches, but beyond that, they’ll need replacing. For play on soft or clay surface courts, these offer fair value.These Penn balls are available in packs of 12.
Wilson US Open Extra Duty Tennis Ball
When it comes to premium performance tennis balls, the best tennis balls are perhaps the Wilson US Open ones. Wilson branded balls are used in the US Open, Fed Cup, David Cup, and the Australian Open too. In the case of the US Open, it’s been the official ball for nearly 40 years, and annually over 60,000 balls get used in the competition. The product naturally is approved by both the USTA and ITF for aggressive competition.
The Wilson US Open Extra Duty product is made especially for hard court surfaces, so they hold up on any kind of surface (clay, grass, etc.).The ball is designed to play well on higher altitude courts up to an elevation of 3,000 feet. It weighs identically to the US Open Regular Duty product. Each ball has a Tex Tech wool felt material made byTex Tech Industriescustomized to the specifications of their client. The company has been producing felt for tennis balls for decades. As far back as the 1980s, they brought to market their unwoven felt that was more durable than other alternatives.The Extra Duty product is one of the most durable ones for fast-paced play and handling harder courts without the balls coming apart at the seams. The consistent performance is one of the hallmarks of this ball.The US Open Extra Duty product is available in 4 cans with three balls to each can 12 balls.
Types of Tennis Balls
Tennis balls have a hollow rubber inner core, prominent seams connecting separate parts of the ball, and a colored wool felt outer surface that wears off over time until the ball is bald in one spot and unusual for gameplay at that point.Balls are made up of both different classes and different types. Technically speaking, the best tennis balls are the Professional class ones of any type.Tennis balls come to in three formal classes:
• Professional level • Championship level • Recreational level
The Professional Class balls are the highest specification. These products offer excellent responsiveness, predictability during sets, and represent the best tennis ball that each manufacturer can produce. Professional class balls are the ones used at the US Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open, and other major tennis tournaments during any calendar year. An example of one of these products is the Wilson US Open Regular Duty ball. These class of product is the most expensive to use.The Championship class balls are the next level down. Local tennis league matches, team games, and school competitions are all played using the Championship level products from major manufacturers like Wilson, Penn, Dunlop, etc. In many cases, the manufacturer will name their ball clearly such as Wilson Championship Heavy Duty tennis ball. The naming confirms the brand, that it’s Championship class, and that it’s a Heavy Duty type (suitable for hard court surfaces).
The Recreational class balls, otherwise known as “practice balls,” are strictly used for casual games between friends, doubles sets with couples who don’t object to an odd bounce from a standard ball, and for improving one’s game.For people who put in long hours developing their game, it is too costly to use either Championship or Professional class tennis balls because they’ll wear through them too quickly. Instead, a recreational ball is ideal as it is the least expensive and while not particularly hard wearing, it is good enough. Examples of this class include the Dunlop Recreational and Wilson Recreational; the latter is a Heavy Duty product durable enough for use on hard surface courts. Often recreational balls are not permitted during competitive league games because their quality is insufficient to rule out bad bounces.There are four types of tennis balls:
• Regular Duty • Extra Duty • High Altitude • Extra Durability
Regular Duty balls are intended for both indoor courts and outside clay surfaces only. They won’t hold up well on harder surfaces and will lack durability.
Hard court surfaces suit Extra Duty balls designed for them. For instance, the Extra Duty balls are the type used in the US Open competitions.
Tennis balls that specify High Altitude perform well even in environments where the air is thinner such as courts situated at a higher altitude. Balls are sometimes pressurized, so the different air pressure would ordinarily change how the balls would perform during a game.
Tennis balls marketed as Extra Durability have a dual inner core that works overtime to stop air from escaping the ball. A common problem is opening up the ball can and not closing it shortly after that. When doing so, the pressurized air from the tennis balls can escape leaving them flat and unplayable. An extra durability ball keeps their bouncy responsiveness usually twice the amount of time that a regular ball does.
Best Tennis Balls for Beginners
If you are starting to play tennis then recreational balls good for practice through tennis ball machine.Tennis balls for beginners fall into two categories: ones suitable for adults and others appropriate for kids. The products for teenagers and pre-teens are particularly useful to help get them started with their first game of tennis.
For adults who aren’t afraid of being accidentally hit by a ball that they didn’t get out of the way of fast enough, then a Regular Duty or Heavy Duty Recreation tennis ball (depending on their court requirements) will suit them perfectly. The practice will feel closer to the real thing whether playing with either a Championship or Professional class ball.
With adults who are either squeamish about getting hit by a ball or need the confidence builder of an easier ball, then the foam-based ones typically used by children (see below) or the transitional balls like the Gamma Sports Kids Training Transitional ball isn’t a good idea.
Companies like Gamma Sports make foam balls instead of the usual rubber-based ones. The advantage of these is that they’re considerably lighter than regular tennis balls and often larger too which make them easier for younger players to return a serve or continue a rally.
Quite often, the foam balls also travel up to 75% slower than regular tennis balls which make it easier for people learning tennis to practice their swing technical. With the improvement in their game, later a new player can practice with regular-sized, rubber-based balls that travel faster. For players under 8, some foam balls are designed to bounce lower making it easier to hit.The Gamma Quick Kids 36 (reviewed earlier in this guide) is a good starting point. It is a foam ball in attractive colors that is larger and plays far slower with a lower bounce than regular tennis balls. A body hit is unlikely to create much theatrics by the child who probably won’t feel it and be able to play on.
Once comfortable with the game, they can happily move through the Gamma range. The Gamma Quick Kids Tennis Balls are probably next, and then the Gamma Sports Kids Training transitional balls are the follow-up step before switching to rubber-based tennis balls.Regarding durability, foam-based balls will wear out over time. The Gamma transitional balls won’t last more than a single match because the felt and lining just won’t hold up. They’re inexpensive compared to regular brands, so there’s a trade-off there.
Benefits of Tennis Balls
A quality tennis ball is the entry way into the exciting world of tennis. Whether playing for fun, to socialize around a common sport, competitively, or only to improve health and fitness, both the top tennis racquet and the tennis ball are the sporting passport into this new world.Many friends and couples take to the court on the weekend to practice their back swing, overhead return or smash. Friendly conversation often flows smoothly during a match and leads to new socializing opportunities after the competition too.
Anyone looking to get fitter and drop a few pounds by playing tennis rather than hitting the gym will find they exert themselves far more than they ever imagined during a game. The semi-constant running, dipping down to return a low ball, and stretching during a serve help improve fitness, reduce heart rate, strengthens muscles and improves bone density (particularly in older people), lowers body fat, improves hand/eye coordination, and reaction times.
When bringing your set of tennis balls to the court to use in a friendly match, be sure not to let the side down. A new set of unopened balls still in the can is better than using a can previously open where air may have escaped from the balls already. Bring along more than one supply of balls to avoid a bad batch. If you’re uncertain whether you’llbe playing on a hard or soft court, bring multiple types of balls with you.
It is often a good idea to discuss types of balls with your future opponent or the group of friends who are getting together later for a friendly game. Some ardent players won’t be happy to learn you’re planning to play with Recreation ones and will expect Championship class only. With other people playing a friendly game, they probably will be happy with Practice ones. Avoid disappointment by asking what is preferred.In the case of foam balls, only a group of tennis newbies who’ve agreed to use foam balls on the court will be happy to do so. One definitely should check which players are okay and those who are not fine playing with foam balls before only bringing this type to the court.
Choosing the right tennis balls is not as easy as one might think. The right brand is important. The appropriate class of ball for the game about to be played matters more to some players than others. Also, the ball type is critical to the ensure durability of the felt on the outside. Be sure to purchase the best tennis balls for your game.