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Why do tennis balls lose their bounce?

Brand new tennis balls have an internal pressure of 14 psi (pounds per square inch). 14 psi on a gauge means that the air inside is14 psi more than normal air on the outside.

Tennis balls come in a pressurized can (pressurized to 14 psi), but as soon as you’ve opened the can, they start losing their bounce. 

The core of tennis balls are made from rubber which is porous in nature. Weather conditions also can cause a ball to lose its bounce and eventually go dead.

With higher altitude the air pressure is lower, therefore your tennis ball will bounce higher and wear out faster. 

In professional matches – tennis balls are changed every 9 games. Hitting the ball forces the internal pressure to escape.

Pros hit the ball hard. Hard-hitting players wear out tennis balls much faster. 

In recreational tennis, you usually play with the same balls for at least several sets. 

How are tennis balls pressurized?

Old tennis balls may look fine but they have stopped performing at their optimum level once the pressure has leaked out.

Finding the best tennis ball pressure tester can help you know if these balls are savable, and hopefully save you money!

Tennis balls feel lively when they first come out of a can. The can itself is pressurized to the match the internal pressure inside the tennis balls. The can is vacuum sealed to prevent the pressurized gas from leaking. 

Since the pressure inside the ball is higher than the air pressure outside, and everything in nature tends toward equilibrium, the gas pressure will leak out slowly over time. 

Tennis balls can remain usable even when some bounce is lost, so when you have found the best tennis ball pressure tester, you know when you head to the court that your balls will perform like new. 

Why is my tennis ball important?

In a professional game, the serving player is gets about three balls from the ball person and chooses one after an intense period of examining it.

This long-held tennis ritual of choosing tennis balls ensures the server gets the most suitable ball for the job.

A low-quality ball gets frayed easily and drags a lot while in the air. This is not acceptable in a professional game and you probably wouldn’t like it either!

Pressurized Tennis Balls vs Unpressurized Tennis Balls

To understand the difference between pressureless and pressurized tennis balls we need to know how they are constructed.

Pressurized tennis balls have hollow rubber cores that are filled with pressurized air or nitrogen.

Pressureless tennis balls have a solid rubber core and are much heavier than the pressurized balls. 

Pressurized Tennis Balls — Here are some features and benefits for pressurized tennis balls:

  • Spin -Pressurized tennis balls have more spin response. Because they are lighter than unpressurized balls you can generate more spin. 
  • Speed-Since pressurized tennis balls have less mass, they can travel faster, therefore, generating more speed.
  • Bounce-Pressurized balls feel lively when they first come out of the can. 

Unpressurized Tennis Balls — Here are some features for unpressurized tennis balls:

  • Dead- Unpressurized balls feel dead from the start
  • Bouncy- Balls become more bouncy over time instead of less bouncy over time. The felt fabric cover on the ball wears away and the rubber inside softens. 
  • Heavier- A heavier ball means you must strike it with your racquet with more force. The result can be an increase in injury. 
  • Spin decreases- As the ball becomes bouncier, their spin response decreases over time. 
  • Long life span- The main advantage of unpressurized tennis balls is their long life span. They are sometimes called ‘forever balls’ as they never lose bounce. Unpressurized balls can lose the yellow color as fabric wears out, but the core remains solid. 
  • Fast- The balls are faster which might help you in reaction time. You will have to get used to reacting much quicker with these balls. 
  • Tennis ball machines- They can be used in tennis ball machines. Be careful not to get used to these balls if you are practicing for a match. Matches are played with pressurized balls.

Using unpressurized tennis balls for tennis ball machines

Practicing the same shot again and again is a problem when no one can feed you the same direction, speed, and height you need when you want to improve your forehand or backhand.  

Manufactures suggest using pressureless tennis balls in tennis ball machines.

Pressureless tennis balls are suggested because they do not wear out, they keep their bounce, and you can use them for a very long time. They are also more economical. 

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com