40 YEARS OF
EXCELLENCE

TEXT INTRO

For the past 40 years, every point at every US Open has been scored with a Wilson US Open Tennis Ball. Unparalleled consistency and performance make it the gold standard in tennis, trusted by the best in the game when it’s all on the line.

Wilson US Open Ball Through Time

Wilson features bright orange, optic yellow, and optic plus (orange & yellow) tennis balls in the early years of its relationship with the US Open. While the tournament strictly used the yellow balls, all three varieties were made available to the public.

Wilson transitions to a new squeezable pressure packaging, with transparent plastic above and below the label offering consumers glimpses of the balls inside the can.

After receiving positive consumer feedback stemming from the transparent packaging, Wilson adds a diagonal window to provide even more visibility to the balls inside each can.

Wilson introduces the new, longer lasting US Open ball to its line, unveiling can packaging featuring bronze tones on the label. The design and specs of the label remain the same as the existing Championship ball packaging.

Wilson expands its US Open ball line to include balls specifically designed for various court surfaces: hard court, high altitude, indoor/clay court, and grass court.

Sporting a new black label for the first time, the US Open packaging features the widely popular ball and flame logo that cemented its legacy around the tournament for nearly 20 years.

Wilson returns to a more transparent look, providing consumers with a window that showcases the top performing tennis ball in the game. This can also highlights Wilson as ‘#1 in Tennis’ – due to the brand’s considerable success across product categories.

This can features the ‘ticket label’ design, which allows consumers to see a somewhat opaque view of the tennis balls from many different angles.

Sporting a brand new tournament logo and can design, this year’s US Open ball packaging delivers a clean, premium look with twisting lines and a sharp gold ‘W’ to top it off.

UNQUESTIONED LEADER ON HARD COURT

Wilson has long prided itself on developing tennis balls for all court surfaces, but early on emerged as an unquestioned leader for best-in-class hard court tennis ball performance. When the US Open switched to a hard court surface in 1978, Wilson was a top choice and natural fit for this very reason. A 2016 questionnaire given to players at the Australian Open revealed this truth – when asked which brand they prefer on hard courts, they overwhelmingly picked Wilson.

  • “The Wilson tennis ball always stood out for a number of reasons – great company and great ball. The best was looking down at the Wilson brand, next to the US Open logo – our home country Slam! I remember always taking a few cans home with me because they represented a can full of memories that would last a lifetime. The best souvenir from the US Open in my opinion! ” -Kathy Rinaldi
  • “Whenever I open a new can of the Wilson US Open ball, it gives me a great feeling of certainty and joy. Knowing it is the best ball in the game, with great control and feel – I just love it.” -Patrik Kuhnen
  • “As a young American kid with a strong passion for tennis, playing at the US Open was my first real dream. The first time I bounced the Wilson tennis ball at the US Open, hands down my favorite tournament, the ball became a symbol for the realization of that dream. ” -Brad Gilbert
  • “I love the smell of the ball and the sound of the ball hitting the strings. The seam on the ball reminds me of the separation between the land and the ocean on earth. ” -Billie Jean King
  • “The first time I bounced the Wilson tennis ball at the US Open, I was inspired and beside myself with excitement. Seeing US Open written on the ball and knowing that it was more than just a name blew me away. ” -Todd Martin
  • “liked the logo on the Wilson US Open ball since I was playing with Wilson Javelin at the time. The ball was very quick through the air, which was great for my game. ” -Stefan Edberg
  • “For me, it was a phenomenal feeling to look down and see the Wilson US Open ball in my hands. The fast nature of the ball helped me play my best tennis – I felt like I was in my comfort zone and gained confidence knowing that it suited my game very well. ” -Jonas Bjorkman
  • “The Wilson US Open tennis ball has very special meaning for me, as I played my best tennis at the US Open and won both of my singles Grand Slam titles there. The fast and consistent nature of the ball was perfect for my game, so I felt very confident in my shots and truly enjoyed playing in one of the loudest atmospheres in tennis. ” -Tracy Austin

HOW GREATNESS IS MADE

  • Rubber material is heated and cut into pieces, called slugs, which are then molded into half-shells.
  • The slugs are inserted into cavities in a heated compression press, where the rubber material cures into solid half-shells.
  • Sandpaper is used to clean and buff the half-shell seam's surface. To prepare shells for molding into a core, adhesive is then applied to the seam.
  • Buffed half-shells are loaded into top and bottom molds in a hydraulic press, where compressed air is introduced into the chamber until the required pressure is met - at which point, the press is closed to trap the pressurized air inside the half-shells. The adhesive is then cured, and the two half-shells are bonded together to form the pressurized core.
  • Sandpaper is used to roughen the core's surface, preparing the core for application of the adhesive for felt covering.
  • A rubber-based adhesive is applied to the roughened cores through a tumbling operation, coating each core with a uniform quantity of adhesive.
  • An automated cutting machine cuts the felt panels into dogbone-shaped pieces, which are then stacked, compressed and placed into a dipping fixture. The edges of the felt panels are then coated with adhesive, which eventually forms the seam of the finished tennis ball.
  • Using a specially designed ball covering machine, two felt panels are applied to the adhesive-covered core.
  • The balls are sent through a rolldown conveyor to remove any lumps or wrinkles along the seam.
  • A hydraulic compression press heats the covered balls to cure the adhesive between the core and felt panels, creating a seam between the two felt panels and leaving a ridge formed by pinched felt.
  • The felt-covered balls are tumbled in a steam-laden atmosphere, returning the felt's original thickness and removing the ridge created by the third cure operation.
  • The fluffed balls are inspected for cosmetics and stamped with the ‘Wilson US Open’ logo.

TEXT OUTRO

DON’T MESS WITH PERFECTION

Tennis equipment has evolved significantly over the past 40 years, from rackets to strings to apparel and more. But one thing hasn’t needed to change: the US Open tennis ball. Wilson is proud to be the official ball of the US Open—past, present, and future.