There are a massive amount of tennis balls on the market and choosing one can be very confusing, especially if you are looking for balls to your ball machine. Most tennis ball works just fine with ball machines, but there are specific balls that will make your practices much more pleasant.
The most important thing to consider when choosing balls for your ball machine is the durability. You want to be able to hit the same shot for hours and hours without having to replace them after every session.
I would recommend getting at least 100 balls to your ball machine, so you don’t need to pick up the ball after just a few minutes of play. Also, to continuously replace that many balls is going to be extremely expensive, so having balls that will last long is crucial.
Prior to making this list, I have considered many different factors, like the durability, cost, quality and the overall compatibility with the ball machines. Here is the list of the 6 best tennis balls for ball machines.
1. Penn Championship Tennis Ball
The fist ball on the list, Penn championship. Known for being one of the most durable tennis balls in the industry. It works perfectly with ball machines and you will be able to hit the ball for many hours before feeling like the quality will suffer. So, you shouldn’t have to replace the balls for a long time after getting the Penn Championships.
The combination of quality, durability and the cost have made the Penn Championship the No.1 top selling tennis ball in America. It isn’t anything special with the ball, but it gets the job done and lasts a very long time. The regular duty felt is one of the best options on the market right now, and it stays looking close to brand new for a long time.
They are not only one of the most durable balls on the market, but also one of the cheaper options. You can’t go wrong with the Penn Championship. I own a ball machine myself and this is my go-to option.
- Not for competitive play
2. Dunlop ATP Regular Duty
The Dunlop ATP Regular Duty is another quality tennis ball that is perfectly suited for ball machines. You will be able to play for endless of hours before feeling like you have to replace them. They are not only one of the most durable tennis balls on the market, it’s also the official ball for the grand slam tournament Australian Open.
Some players feel that a Dunlop ball feels a little smaller and lighter during play, but that has to do with its tight felt and unique playability. Most players really like this feel, while others think the ball seems a little too small at times.
These balls do last a long time, so there is certainly a lot of value to be found. Just don’t be someone who tries these once or twice and then completely writes them off. It takes a little bit of time to get used to them to really see all the benefits.
- Official Ball For Australian Open
- Feels different compared to other balls
3. Dunlop Grand Prix
The third tennis ball on the list, the Dunlop Grand Prix. What makes this ball stand out is once again, the durability & quality. It’s hard to find a ball that will last longer than the Grand Prix with the same quality. It may not have the reputation as a ball machine ball, but from my experience, they have been excellent together with my ball machine. The Grand Prix tennis ball is also one of the most popular balls in the US.
The Grand Prix have not only exceptional durability, but also the perfect weight for playing with ball machines. In addition, the use of an optic felt, which is 14% brighter than regular cloth, allows the player to sight the ball earlier, giving more time for shot preparation.
Even though the Dunlop Grand Prix have excellent durability, I have from my experience, had longer play time with other balls on this list, like the Penn Championship. But, still a an-all solid option for all ball machine owners. The quality of the Grand Prix is hard to compete with.
4. Wilson US Open Extra Duty
Next up, the Wilson US Open Extra Duty. As the name suggest, it’s the official ball for the US Open. This is together with the Penn Championship, my favorite ball machine balls right now. The Wilson US Open ball is not only used by me and the US Open tournament, it’s also one of the most popular balls at the pro level.
What makes this tennis balls stand out is the durability and quality. You can play with these balls for months without feeling like the balls become unplayable. It’s hard to find any other tennis ball with the same durability without sacrificing any quality. I can see why this is the top selling Wilson tennis ball of all time.
There may be other balls that have slightly better durability, but there is no ball that have the same quality. If the quality of the ball is important for you, the Wilson US Open Extra Duty is the go-to option for your ball machine.
- US Open Official Ball
5. Penn Pro Marathon Extra Duty
The Penn Pro Marathon Extra Duty is another ball that is considered to be one of the most durable balls on the market. It’s marketed as the most durable Penn ball, but I think it’s pretty similar to the Penn Championship ball.
Pro Penn Marathon is the official ball of the PTR organization because of the excellent longevity, visibility and most importantly durability. One of the most technologically advanced tennis balls around, providing players with top of the line core and felt technologies that allows the tennis ball to play at its best for longer periods of time.
If you are looking for tennis balls that will last long, you won’t be disappointed with the Penn Pro Marathon. The quality makes the ball pretty average for competitive play, but for ball machines, it’s one of the best options available right now.
- Not the same feel as other Penn options
What About Pressureless Balls for Ball Machines?
The tennis balls that last the longest is without a doubt pressureless balls. They will have the longest life time with your ball machine, but there are some major issues that I have experienced with using pressureless ball that makes them not worth using.
First of all, the quality is just not good, not at all. They may last longer, but considering how much quality and feel you sacrifice, it’s definitely not worth it. It doesn’t feel like you hit a tennis ball, more like a random ball that have been painted to look like a tennis ball.
If you practice with pressureless balls for a while and then go back to pressurized tennis balls, it won’t feel anything near similar. When I practiced with pressureless balls, It felt like it didn’t help me improve my game at all.
If the only thing you care about is durability and cost, well pressureless balls are the best option. But, for most ball machine owners that wants to improve their game, pressureless balls are just not a good route to go.
I would advice you to go for one of the options listed, they won’t make you disappointed. Also, if you haven’t bought a ball machine yet, I wrote an article the other day about the 14 best tennis ball machines.
If you are serious about improving your game, a tennis ball machine with a ton of balls are a great investment. Make sure that you get at least 100 balls, because it can be pretty annoying to pick up all the balls after hitting for just a few minutes. I personally like to have at least 150 balls each session, but it obviously depends on how many balls your ball machine can handle and what drills you are planning to use.
All the options that I mentioned above plays quite similar and lasts the same amount of time, so whatever ball you are choosing make sure to buy in bunches. It gets much cheaper when buying balls in bunches. All the links below will redirect you to Amazon, where the balls are listed in 14-24 cans for pretty good prices.
Here is the full list of the best tennis balls for ball machines
- Penn Championship
- Dunlop ATP Regular Duty
- Dunlop Grand Prix
- Wilson US Open Extra Duty
- Penn Pro Marathon Extra Duty
Other Tennis Balls I Recommend: