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What Are The Tennis Balls Used at Grand Slams and Masters Tournaments?

What Are The Tennis Balls Used at Grand Slams and Masters Tournaments?

The fluorescent yellow colored tennis balls are universally used on all the tennis courts, and the tennis balls used in different tournaments, taking place all over the world have different ball sponsors. 

Australian Open

To begin with, the first Slam of the year, the Australian Open presently uses the Japanese-manufactured balls by Dunlop. In 2018, the Melbourne major signed a commercial deal with Dunlop, and they will be supplying them balls for the next five years.

Tennis Balls Used
Australian Open

Before Dunlop Australian Open was using tennis balls manufactured by Wilson. This year, few players including Roger Federer addressed dissatisfaction towards the Dunlop balls.

French Open

The balls used at the French Open were  manufactured by Babolat till the French Open 2019. Until 2011, Dunlop supplied the tennis balls to the clay-court major. When Roland-Garros made a switch, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic accused that Babolat balls were bouncing higher and moving faster than Dunlop balls

Tennis Balls Used
Roland Garros

Babolat proved their balls were ideal and weather and court conditions were responsible for the imperfect behavior of the play. However, Babolat ended its partnership with the Roland Garros and will be replaced by Wilson from the French Open 2020.

Wimbledon

The heritage shop, Slazenger has been the tennis ball sponsors at ‘Mecca of Tennis’ since the year 1902. Wimbledon and Slazenger have the longest partnership in sporting goods history. The tennis balls used at Wimbledon are revered for their exceptional bouncing qualities and excellent visibility on the court.

Slazenger has a constant engagement in developing their product. Their expertise is driven by sports scientists from Loughborough University. The Wimbledon balls use an exclusive Ultra Vis dye, which enables optimum visibility for players and spectators.

Their patented Hydroguard Technology developed a cloth which repels up to 70 percent more water than a standard ball. Despite their balls offering solid playability on the turf, this year the World Number two, Rafael Nadal had some issues with the Slazenger balls.

Tennis Balls Used at Wimbledon
Tennis Balls Used at Wimbledon

The tennis balls used at Wimbledon are unparalleled with the balls used in other tournaments and their alliance seems to be never-ending. Over the span of two weeks, more than 54,000 balls are used every year at Wimbledon.

US Open

For over forty years now, the US Open has been using the tennis balls sponsor by Wilson. To trace back the history of the US Open, it was initially held on grass courts until 1975, and then, till 1977 the tournament was conducted on clay and finally, in 1978 Flushing Meadows came up with the concept of hard courts.

Tennis Balls Used
Balls Used at the US Open

With their transition to hard courts in 1978, the US Open simultaneously switched to Wilson balls. At Australian Open 2016, a questionnaire was floated among the tennis professionals, and about 80 percent of them responded that Wilson tennis balls to have the best performance on hard courts and their balls are naturally fit for hard surfaces.

To summarise with, all four Slams use tennis balls produced by different sporting equipment manufacturers.

American Double Sunshine: Indian Wells and Miami Open 

Besides the Grand Slams of tennis, the first tournament of ‘American Swing’, BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells has extended their sponsorship with HEAD Penn this year, and they continue to use their balls.

Tennis Balls Used at American Swing
Balls Used at American Swing

The sister tournament, Miami Open also avails the tennis balls supplied by HEAD Penn.

European Clay Season: Monte-Carlo Masters, Madrid Open and Rome Masters

Dunlop Fort Clay Court balls are the official ball suppliers for the European clay-court tour (except Roland-Garros). Rolex Monte Carlo Masters, Mutua Madrid Open and ATP Masters 1000 in Rome have extended their contract with Dunlop. Also, the ATP 500 Barcelona Open and the ATP 250 tournaments in Estoril, Munich, and Budapest use Dunlop balls.

Tennis Balls Used
Dunlop Fort Clay Court balls

Dunlop Fort Clay Court balls are developed exclusively for the clay courts, it incorporates Clay Guard technology to ensure optimal performance of the ball on the dirt.

Rogers Cup, Cincinnati Open and Paris Masters

Moving on to the hardcourt tour in North America, the tennis balls used at Rogers Cup in Canada and Cincinnati Open in the US are supplied by HEAD Penn. Over the past few decades, HEAD Penn balls have been the signature for Canada Masters and Western & Southern Open.

Tennis Balls Used

In Europe, the Paris Masters event also uses HEAD Penn balls.

Shanghai Rolex Masters

The tennis balls used at Shanghai Rolex Masters are sponsored by Dunlop. Earlier the subsidiary of Sumitomo group, Srixon were their suppliers and then they merged with Dunlop. Dunlop has become the Silver Partner of the ATP as they also sponsor the year-end tournament Nitto ATP Finals, besides the other prestigious tournaments on tour. 

In numerous events, the ATP men use tennis balls which have extra-duty felt ball while the WTA players use a regular-duty felt ball, which means the ATP balls have more felt than the balls used in the WTA domain.

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