How Long Do Tennis Balls Last?

How Long Do Tennis Balls Last

Tennis balls can’t last forever, this is how long the tennis balls can last.

How long do tennis balls last? When constantly hit in a competitive tennis game, pressurized tennis balls can last 2-3hrs. For beginner playing or perhaps recreational tennis playing, the ball can last 1-4 weeks.

Pressureless tennis balls can last 1-3 years of moderate playing. Once these duration elapses the bouncy nature of the balls reduce such that they can only be used for warm ups, or beginner training but not in a real competition tennis game.

Durability Of Tennis Ball Depends On The Type Of The Ball

Generally, there are two main categories of tennis balls irrespective of the brand name. Tennis ball can either be pressurized or pressureless balls.

In brief, the table shows tennis balls lifespan of the two types of tennis balls

Tennis Ball TypeDurability
Pressurized tennis balls2hrs-3hrs  in a highly competitive much with constant hitting
1-4 weeks beginner and moderate playing
Pressureless tennis ballsNot suitable for highly competitive match
1-3 years training and moderate play
How long do tennis balls last?

How Long Do Tennis Balls Last Unopened?

Tennis ball lifespan varies. On average, how long do unopened tennis balls last can be at least 2 years as long as the cans that store the pressurized tennis balls remain completely sealed by manufacturer.

However, micro leaks can occur to make them not last forever. Besides, do unopened tennis balls go bad? No, as long as they are well stored. Ensure that the new unopened cans remain as closed as possible. Only open cans for the balls that you intend to use.

Besides, for pressureless tennis balls they can last for at least 10 years as long as the ball is stored correctly. Any environmental factors that can cause wearing of the outside shell and corrode the rubber layers would definitely negatively affect the durability of unused pressureless tennis balls.

Lasting Of Pressurized Tennis Balls

Pressurized tennis balls are balls are made of layers, often a double layer, or rubber material for the inner section and an outer cover made of wool. Inside the pressurized ball is hollow and filled with gas such as nitrogen gas. The pressure of a new tennis ball ranges from 14psi to 16psi.

The pressure has to be maintained as soon as it is manufactured. That is why pressured tennis balls often come in a can. A sealed can contains three tennis balls a few cans can hold 4 balls.

The can is also pressurized to have a homogenous pressure with the ball so that the tennis ball does not loose it’s inside pressure to the outside environment in an attempt to be at equilibrium with the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, this pressured tennis ball can be stored in a fridge to minimize chances of the ball loosing pressure. Scientifically, hot air moves faster than cold air. So, since the inside of the ball is gas reducing the speed of movement also slows down the rate of pressure loss.

With constant hitting during a high competitive match, a pressured tennis ball can last 2 hours to 3 hours. With minimal use of the ball, the ball can effectively maintain is moderately high bounce from 1 week up to 4 weeks. So, a moderate play requires you to replace the ball after about 9 games. However, a real competition uses new tennis ball each game.

Pros of Using Pressurized Balls

  1. They are highly bouncy
  2. They are light in weight
  3. Comfortable to play with for extended period
  4. Can be used in a real competition game

Cons of Using Pressurized Balls

  1. Less durable
  2. Can be expensive

Lasting Of Pressureless Tennis Balls

Pressureless tennis balls are made up of several layers of rubber material covered in an outer woolen shell. The rubber material makes the pressureless tennis ball bouncy.

Unlike the pressurized tennis balls that are hollow and air-filled, pressureless tennis balls are not hollow and rubber material fills up the inside of the ball making the ball quite heavy.

How long do pressureless tennis balls last? Pressureless tennis balls can last up to 1 year to 3 years of moderately usage. Since there is no gas to be lost by pressureless balls, frequency of use, storage and maintenance of the ball can affect the over durability.

For beginners operating with a low budget, practicing with pressureless tennis balls can be the best choice and once in a while you can use the pressured tennis balls.

Pros Of Using Pressureless Tennis Balls

  1. Durable
  2. Can be used for training and warm up
  3. Less expensive in the long run

Cons Of Using Tennis Pressureless Tennis Balls

  1. Less bouncy compared to pressurized tennis balls
  2. Heavy weight and not comfortable to use in a competitive game
  3. Prolonged use result in being dirty and skin peels off

How Quickly Does A Tennis Ball Lose Its Bounce?

On constant hitting, a pressurized tennis ball looses its bounce after about 2-3hrs, on moderate use the ball looses its bounce after 1-4 weeks. Besides, once a pressurized tennis ball is opened, the tennis ball lifespan starts decreasing. On the other hand, a pressureless tennis ball on moderate use can loose its bounce after about 1-3 years.

Ways To Know That Your Tennis Ball Lifespan Period Is Over

For pro players, it is very easy for one to know if a tennis ball is still in good condition by simply using their senses of touch, sight, and hearing. Here are tips to help you know like a pro that your tennis ball need to be replaced.

 For pressurized tennis balls monitor the

1. Sound Made When A Tennis Ball Is Hit

A tennis ball that has already lost some gas and is flat, often referred to as dead, will make a thud sound which is not there in a ball that is new. You can simply have an old tennis ball and a new tennis ball, hit them separately with your racquet. You will note a big difference.

2. Appearance After Squeezing

Applying pressure on the tennis ball using your palm, a ball that easily goes flat requires a replacement. A tennis ball that tends to resist flattening even under pressure is still good to be used for several games before it can be changed.

3. How The Ball Bounce

A ball that still has sufficient pressure inside will tend to reach greater heights after a bounce compared to a ball that has lost some pressure. The shorter the height after a bounce, the sooner you need to get a tennis ball replacement.

Ways To Store Tennis Ball To Last Longer

Pressureless tennis balls can be stored in any suitable place provided the surface is not wet or dumpy and the temperature is moderate but not extreme hot. However, for pressurized tennis balls you have to be keen on how you store tennis balls since your storage can determine how long the balls can last.

So, once you open up a tennis can and perhaps used the ball then they immediately start to leak pressure since the inside pressure of the ball is higher than the outside environmental pressure. The ball can go flat even when not used after staying outside uncovered for several days.

How To Make Tennis Balls Last Longer

1. Storing the ball in a refrigerator when not in use.

Cold air circulation rate is reduced, thus the rate of pressure loss also reduces significantly. The ball maintains its pressure and bouncy for a much longer duration.

2. Use a tennis ball pressurizer.

When storing the balls in a tennis ball pressurizer or tennis ball saver, have the pressure inside the pressurizer increased slightly above the pressure of the ball. Be sure the lid of the tennis ball saver stays locked during storage.

New ball pressure range is 14psi-16psi. So, the high outside pressure prevents inside ball pressure from leaking since there is no way air movement can occur from a low pressure environment to a high pressure environment.

Buying New Long Lasting And Replacing Tennis Balls

If you find out that the above tips indicate that your tennis ball needs a replacement, here are a few of the popular tennis brand companies that make high quality tennis balls. The list is random and no special order has been used.

Some of popular good tennis balls produced include:

  • Willson tennis balls
  • Babolat tennis balls
  • HEAD tennis balls
  • Tecnifibre tennis balls
  • Dunlop tennis balls
  • Treton tennis balls
  • Slazenger tennis balls
  • TYGER tennis balls

What To Do With Old Tennis Balls

It is not new that you will need to have a budget to replace used tennis ball. You need to find ways to safely dispose, or make into a new use of your tennis balls. Otherwise, for the players who frequently use the balls may end up having piles of waste balls at home. So, are used tennis balls useful? Yes.

The following are some ways to make old tennis ball useful before final disposal


Pressured tennis balls can still be used for warm up and even training even if their bounce rate has significantly reduced. You do not have to open up a new ball for warm up.

Cushioning In Packaging

For those who have lots of goods to ship that need cushioning, old pressurized tennis balls can be a great option for you. Since the balls still have some air, generally they are light weight and can act as a cushion during bumping to protect your inside real package.

Dog Play Toy

Dogs love to run and fetch an item during a play. You can use your old tennis ball to keep your dog entertained, lively, and active during play.

Cleaning You Pool

Pools normally end up being dirty after several use that is why they need cleaning. Most oils and makeup of people entering into a swimming pool end up being washed away with water and remains in the pool.

Simply toss several of your old tennis balls in the pool. Allow at least 2 hours duration before removing them. The outer layer of the ball would have absorbed the oily waste.

House Cleaning

Old tennis balls can come in handy to help you get rid of cobwebs, or remove scuff from the floor. Simply be creative and stick the ball to a long stick or a metal bar to help you reach even the furthest cobwebs that seems out of reach.

Anchoring Balloons

Since balloons are air-filled, you can easily loose a balloon. To make the balloons a little bit heavy, anchor the balloons to your used tennis ball. It is a sure way that all your balloons will remain within your reach.

Protect Your Floor With Tennis Balls

Heavy furniture especially the once that are frequently moved from place to place risk scuffing your floor. Minimize the cost of floor repair by using your balls at the furniture ends to act as a cushion and reduce damages to the floor.


Instead of throwing away the used ball, according to, tennis balls can also be recycled.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do pros use new balls?

Pros use new balls for a maximum of 9 games after which the balls are only used for warm up. Some pro tennis player prefer replacing the ball after the 7th game.

How much does a new can of tennis ball cost?

A new can of tennis ball cost about $2-$3 USD. Majority of the cans contains a total of 3 balls but a few can come with a package of 4 balls.

Why are tennis balls numbered?

Tennis balls are numbered to allow you easily keep track of which ball you have already used. In that manner, you can exhaust the bounciness of one ball before picking another without confusion. Numbering helps maximize the use of a single ball before changing to another ball although it is not a mandatory practice.

Why are tennis balls sealed?

Tennis balls are sealed in cans that have been pressurized to prevent the ball from losing its pressure and thereafter loss its bouncy nature. That is why pressurized tennis balls come in cans as a way to elongate the durability of the balls.

How Long Is A Tennis Ball?

The diameter length of a tennis ball as stipulated by International Tennis Federation standards must range within 2.57-2.70 inches or 6.54-6.86 cm. Also, the tennis ball weight must range within 1.98-2.10 ounces or 56.0-59.4 g.


How long do tennis ball last can be vary depending with the type of the ball and your usage. Pressurized tennis ball that experience constant hitting in a competitive much can maintain their high bounce ability for about 2 hours to 3 hours. However, on a moderate play the pressurized tennis balls can last between 1-4 weeks. On the other hand, pressureless balls can last between 1-2 years although they are less bouncy, much heavy, and are prone to getting dirty and wearing off due to prolonged use. Pressurized tennis balls should be stored in sealed cans, in a pressurizer or in fridge to help them last longer.

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Brett Haber

My goal is simple: to immerse you in the world of tennis like never before. Whether it's analyzing the strategies of top players, delving into the history of the sport, or offering insightful commentary on current events, my words aim to entertain, inform, and ignite your own passion for tennis. Join me on this thrilling journey through the courts, and let's ace this adventure together!

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