Why are tennis balls pressurized

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Have you ever thought about why do tennis balls come in a pressurized can or have taken it as how this thing works? Why don’t they are showcased on shelves just like other balls? What’s the scientific reason behind this? If not, then this article is for you. In this article, I will discuss why are tennis balls pressurized in depth.

Almost all people love to play tennis. But most of us are not aware enough to observe that tennis is a unique sport. Unlike football, basketball, and volleyball, tennis balls are quite different. Sellers sell tennis balls usually in a pressurized can instead of using shelves. Knowing this reason would not make you a better tennis player, but it will help you save your money since the budget is a kind of issue that easily narrows our choices. If you are simply eager to know the reason or save some money, keep reading this article.

In this article, I will effectively discuss why tennis balls are pressurized. Along with this, you will get some related topics that are important to know and some relevant FAQs. So, without any further due, let’s get started.



There are 7 kinds of tennis balls, and each ball has to be checked to obey the ITF regulations for each type of ball. Each type of ball has a different tariff, and the testing cost of each is higher. If the balls fail the test, then a new fee imposes for further testing. However, the approval for each ball is only valid for 12 months.

Type 1 – A bit harder and faster speedball. These balls are for slower court grounds.

A Type 2 – Most ordinary tennis ball for standard courts surfaces

Type 3 –little larger for faster courts

High Altitude – Convenient to use in conditions that have higher than average altitude

Stage 1 – 25% slower than an ordinary tennis ball

A Stage 2 – 50% slower than a common tennis ball for play on a smaller court

Stage 3 – Larger than a traditional tennis ball and much slower too. Whole some to use on 1/4 size courts.

However, depending on the tennis ball, the tennis overgrip will also be different. There are so many options for the player to avail the best tennis overgrip.

Tennis balls are also classified into two classes based on pressure

Pressurized tennis balls: These pressurized tennis balls usually come in unfilled and hold air at a pressure of about 26.7 psi. Though some balls contain much lower pressure as well. Manufacturers do this to reduce the weight of the ball. So that, the ball bounces a bit more, for example, Penn championship tennis ballsGenerally, the best tennis balls come in a pressurized form. To perform better playability, a player must also have the best tennis overgrip along with the ball.

Pressure-less tennis balls: As the name suggests, these balls don’t use internal air pressure. Therefore, these balls don’t bounce like a pressurized tennis ball. They usually have a rubber structure that offers them bounce. This type of ball is the best tennis ball for the beginner.


The ITF regulations require that tennis balls should bounce from 48-53 to 53-60 inches. To create that amount of bounce, Pressurized tennis balls retain air at a pressure of about 26.7 psi inside the ball where the usual surrounding air pressure is about 14.7 psi that is 12 psi lower than inside the ball. We know that air behaves in a fluid manner, denoting that the air particles automatically flow from higher pressure areas to those where the pressure is lower.



So, if manufacturers keep the balls in an unpressurized can, due to this big pressure difference, an air of the ball will slowly leak out, resulting in descending the ball’s internal air pressure. It will make the ball weak and shrink. Besides, the more you will hit the ball, it will more air leak from the ball. Consequently, the ball will fail to provide the required bounce amount.

A bit of air leak also takes place when the sellers display these balls before purchasing and even when players are not using the balls.

Moreover, unlike sports such as football, basketball, and volleyball, players cannot pump air into the tennis ball. This means as soon as a tennis ball is out of the can, it only has a restricted time before it flattens too much and becomes dead.

Therefore, manufacturers use a sealed and pressurized tennis ball can to create an external equilibrium pressure to the ball’s internal air pressure. So that, the balls don’t leak air from the tennis ball. This keeps the ball intact and maintains the required bounce. That is why the manufacturers suggest not to open a can of tennis balls when players don’t use the tennis balls.

However, a player can enlarge the durability of the tennis ball by using an appropriate tennis backpack. The compartment for the ball will help to keep the ball intact. Nike court tennis backpack is one the best tennis backpack in this regard.


How Are Tennis Balls Pressurized?

The process may include:

  • Firstly, the manufacturer creates the rubber shell of the tennis ball.
  • Then the rubber mixture is molded into half-shells. To consolidate the shells, the manufacturer reveals the molds to high temperatures and pressure.
  • Then, the manufacturer polishes and shields the layers of the half-shells with adhesive.
  • They keep the half-shells in a hydraulic press, with the ambient air pressurized at 18 psi, and direct the air into the ball.
  • Once the adhesive cures, the shells get cold to at least 127 degrees Fahrenheit to resist the core from exploding. By this time, the internal pressure reaches 15 psi.
  • The manufacturer covers the core with the exterior felt.
  • When the balls are ready to be kept in the can, the internal pressure is 12 to 14 psi.

How Long Does a Sealed Can of Tennis Balls Last?

Once a player opens the tennis ball can, it means that he will have a few hours of consistent play at most. In fact, within one hour of opening, the balls look and perform differently than the people realize. A combination of extremely hard-hitting and long rallies also leads the ball to emit more air. It is why players change the tennis balls after 9 at the pro-level matches. Generally, pressurized tennis balls last 1 to 4 weeks once they are unsealed.

On the other hand, recreational players usually use the tennis ball until the ball is almost dead. They also use those dead tennis balls for different purposes, such as a pad under a furniture leg or give the ball to their dog as dogs love tennis balls.

Saving Money On Tennis Balls

Canned Tennis balls rarely go on sale since the stores usually have a short -profit margin in this case. So, it would be beneficial for a player who plays tennis regularly to buy a bulk of tennis balls at a time. It will cost a bit less than those single cans. A 12- or 24-pack of cans is going to be just nice sitting around and waiting to be used. But never unsealed the can long ago before use.

Another way is to avail of the clearance sale to save your money.


What are tennis balls filled with air?

Pressurized tennis balls are mainly a coating of rubber surrounding a vacuum center. There is also a thin layer of adhesive on the rubber. The manufacturer fills the balls with either air or nitrogen. However, tennis balls with nitrogen puffed longer.

Why are There only do 3 balls in a can?

Tennis players usually inspect three balls before using them in a match so that they can choose one smooth ball and one fluffy ball. Players use the smooth ball for the first serve. Because the hairs are flattened down, the ball travels faster than an older one, which makes it harder to come back.

Are pressure-less tennis balls any good?

While pressurized tennis balls are lightweight and require less force, pressure-less tennis balls are durable and heavier. As a result, they create less bounce and require more force to hit. They are usually ideal for lessons, general practice.

Wrapping up:

In conclusion, the manufacturers pressurize the Tennis balls to keep the balls’ standard, create more bounce, and be lightweight. Due to these features, players use pressurized tennis balls in competitive play. This fact is important to know to keep the balls last longer and save one’s money in the long run. Once the player uncovers the can, the clock will be ticking, and the ball’s consistency starts reducing. Therefore, it is wholesome not to keep the ball intact as long as possible and not to open the can long ago before playing. I hope I could convince you with my answers.

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