Why Are Tennis Balls Pressurized? Answers From Tennis Professionals

Having the tennis ball with appropriate pressure is important. There are a variety of tennis balls available on the market. However, knowing about pressurized tennis balls with different properties is also important. But first thing first that is Why Are Tennis Balls Pressurized?

The quick answer is, tennis balls are pressurized because, in this way, they are lightweight, bouncy, and feel comfortable on a racquet in a competitive match. The pressurized container/can keep their internal air pressure intact until they are opened and used. While on the other hand, pressureless balls are heavy, less bouncy and they don’t lose bounce over time and are good for practice matches.

Let’s now look into the details.

Although there are several tennis balls that are pressurized and non-pressurized. Each one has its playing properties and advantages.

It does not matter what type of ball it is, some specifications are given by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Before, we discuss why tennis balls are pressurized let’s see some other important factors of a tennis ball.

Every single tennis ball is made according to these specified features provided by the officials. Moreover, it can not be knocked back when it comes to choosing the right tennis ball.

How Are Tennis Balls Made?

Since tennis balls are an essential part of the game. Therefore, tennis balls are made with the instructions given by the ITF.

Let’s take a look at the composition of a tennis ball.

The base of the tennis ball is made with the following materials.

  • Thailand Rubber
  • Pressurize Air
  • Heat
  • Various Adhesives

The above-mentioned things combinedly form a tennis ball of good quality and in consonance with the specifications given by the International Tennis Federation.

The outer coat of the ball is prepared with woven wool. This is the high-quality wool that is applied to the exterior of the ball. The ball is composed of premium quality imported Thai rubber.

This rubber is molded in the shape of shells by using a good amount of heat. These shells are combined with the help of adhesives. Then these shells are joined in the shape of a ball. These rubber shells are exceptionally strong and durable.

Afterward, a high level of pressurized air is pumped inside the ball. This prevents the ball from any damage including breaking, dent, or concavity.

At this point, sandpaper is also applied to the ball in order to produce good friction. This allows better contact of the ball with the racquet.

Lastly, the manufacturers assure that the ball feels soft while holding in the hands.

Pressurized Tennis Balls

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Pressurized tennis balls are the most preferred balls by the top professional tennis players. Due to the high-quality materials used for its composition, top players usually opt for pressurized tennis balls.

Since the pressurized tennis balls bounce and spin better than any other ball. Therefore these balls are mainly used in tournaments as well.

However, these balls can lose the air pressure inside them with time. It may be because of the leakage. Ball leakage can occur due to various reasons. The major reason hitting the ball with a tennis racquet that is heavy.

It means, the more you play with the tennis ball, the more pressure it loses.

Note: The tennis ball becomes dead after some time and it stops bouncing at all. When you see such a state of your ball it means you need to replace it with a new one.

But still, we can not ignore the fact that pressurized tennis balls are widely used at a professional level. With these balls, you can play better tennis due to their good contact with the racket.

Why Are Tennis Balls Pressurized?

This is a good point raised that why are tennis balls pressurized? Well, in that regard the first and the most important reason for it is that it prevents the ball from dents.

Moreover, the ball stays stiff and bounces well. For tennis purposes, a ball must bounce and spin.

In order to spin and hit the ball in the right direction, it must have air pressure-filled inside of it. Therefore, the pressurized ball is a great option in that regard.

The life of a tennis ball depends on the pressure-filled in its interior. This tells how long balls are good for.

As long as the ball is bouncing perfectly, we consider the ball good to play tennis. When the air pressure leaks then the ball becomes dead.

That’s why the low-pressure tennis balls are of no use especially at large tournaments. Generally, you should use the ball for about 9 games.

Useful Tip: Make sure you keep your tennis balls neat and clean. It helps the ball bounce well. Dirty balls may not perform up to the mark. For further instructions, read our complete guide on how to clean tennis balls quickly.

A good player can quickly notice the low pressure of the tennis ball. As you open the tennis ball can, the balls start losing the air pressure inside them.

The balls gradually become flat. This happens when the pressure inside decreases and comes equal to the atmospheric pressure level.

So, this ball does not work anymore for the game. Hence, the tennis balls must have a good enough amount of air pressure inside.

Why Are Tennis Balls Sealed In Pressurized Cans?

Tennis Balls Container

As tennis lovers and players, we all know that tennis balls come in sealed cans. But have you ever come across the question about securing them in a can and not on a shelf openly before selling?

Well, this is not a crucial point to know or that it would help you play better. However, you can know this by buying the right thing while saving some money.

So, let’s get to the answer of why are tennis balls sealed in an airtight can?

The main purpose of pressurized balls is that it stays hollow and bouncy. According to ATP, the ball should be hollow enough to bounce at least 48-53 or 53-60 inches above the ground.

Therefore, we keep the tennis balls in sealed pressurized cans because it helps retain the ball’s life and bouncy features. As a result, the balls can stay longer maybe for months in the store before they are purchased.

That’s why we keep the tennis balls in an airtight can.

It keeps the air pressure uniform for the balls. In this way, the tennis balls keep their bouncing and spinning features unharmed.

I know, now you may have this question in your mind what if balls go unsold for months then what happens? Let’s also have a look at it.

Do Unopened Tennis Balls Expire?

Well, knowing about the life of tennis balls inside the can is also important. Although the balls are kept in a can and are sealed before they are sold.

Therefore, if the balls are inside the can and are unopened then the balls stay alive for about two years. The balls do not get flat before two years.

However, after two years the balls may start losing internal pressure and may become flat. The reason for the tennis balls becoming dead and flat is that the packaging has some small leaks. Over time the air pressure reduces as it leaks hence causing the tennis balls to become dead.

Are Pressureless Tennis Balls As Good?

Yes, the pressureless tennis balls are good when it comes to durability. However, these are not suitable for all types of players.

Moreover, professional players do not use tennis balls under low pressure. The low-pressure balls are stiffer and weigh heavy which may result in tennis elbow.

The less pressure inside the ball and the core made with thick rubber make the tennis ball durable.

Generally, coaches use pressureless tennis balls for training purposes because these balls are consistent and have a long life. Moreover, you can use these balls for practicing on your own as well.

How Long Do Tennis Balls Last?

At a professional level tennis match, they change the tennis balls after the 9 games. There is more chance for the ball to become flat as you hit it with the racket. Therefore, the umpire on the court gives a call to change the tennis ball.

How to Keep Tennis Balls Pressurized?

To keep the tennis balls pressurized it is important to keep them in an airtight can until you are going to play.

Since the tennis balls easily lose their pressure when taken out of the sealed container. This is the reason why players have to change the balls after a few games.

The ball gradually starts losing the pressure inside it and becomes equal to the outer pressure. However, if you keep the tennis balls sealed it will preserve the air pressure inside the ball. Therefore, the balls inside stay good for a long time.

Can You Re-Pressurize Tennis Balls?

So, far we have learned what are pressurized tennis balls, why they are pressurized, how to keep them pressurized but what if the ball loses its pressure? Can you refill it with pressure same as before?

Let’s have a look at it.

The answer is, Yes! You can re-pressurize the tennis balls. You can do this by using the re-pressurizing devices available on the market.

To learn how to re-pressurize tennis balls, watch the video below.

You can put your dead and flat tennis balls inside this device and can maintain the pressure again. Now you can take out your old pressureless tennis balls out of that box and revive them!

Pressureless Tennis Balls vs Pressurized Tennis Balls

Pressurized balls are hollow and provide more friction. These balls are lightweight because of the air pressure filled in them.

The pressurized balls provide more spinning and bouncing. These balls are not durable but are of good quality and compatible with tennis games.

On the other hand, pressureless tennis balls are durable. These balls weigh heavier and do not bounce much.

However, these balls are for regular use or the coaches use these balls for training. The pressureless balls require more body and arm effort for hitting with the racket.

Summary

The reason why are tennis balls pressurized is that it makes the balls bounce more and lightweight as well so that you can hit more with your racquet. As a result, it helps you improve your game. That’s why tennis balls come in a pressurized can so that you have high-quality balls when you buy them.

Make sure you open your tennis can only when you intend to start playing or practicing because once the can is opened, the balls may start losing pressure with time. The good part is that you can still re-pressurize tennis balls to save money.

I hope you find this article helpful. Don’t forget to share it with others including your friends, and family as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What are Pressurized tennis balls?

Pressurized tennis balls are those balls that are filled with air pressure inside. As a result, it increases the bounce of the ball and reduces its weight making it lightweight. Generally, tennis balls are pressurized at 14 psi.

2) What is the difference between pressurized and pressureless tennis balls?

Pressurized tennis balls are filled with compressed air inside while the pressureless balls don’t have air inside. Rather, pressureless balls are solid from the inside. Pressurized tennis balls are lightweight and more bouncy while the other ones are heavy and less bouncy.

3) How long do pressurized tennis balls last?

The durability of tennis balls depends on the type of games you play. For example, if you are a recreational player, then the pressurized balls last for 1 to 4 weeks. However, for competitive games, balls last only for 1 to 3 hours of constant play.

4) Do professional players use pressurized tennis balls?

Generally, professional players prefer to use pressurized tennis balls because these balls are more bouncy and fast. This helps players keep the game spirit high and the game more competitive.

5) Are pressurized tennis balls better?

Well, it depends on your needs. If you want to play a competitive tennis match then pressurized tennis balls are the best option. However, if you are practicing your game or using a tennis ball machine, then pressureless balls are great because they will not lose their bounce over time and you can practice for hours.


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