How to Choose a Tennis Ball

Looks can be deceiving – choose the right tennis ball for your game.


Yellow, round, and fuzzy.

Most tennis balls look nearly identical, yet you might be surprised how differently these round balls of fuzz can perform. Most tennis balls are made up of two key components: a rubber core and felt. It’s how these two materials work together that change the speed, bounce and durability of a ball. Some balls play better on specific surfaces, some are more suitable for advanced players and some even will maintain their performance for longer. The tiny tweaks in the construction of these fuzzy yellow balls can make all the difference!

Still, when faced with a shelf full of different tennis ball cans, it’s difficult to know which one is the right one for you and your game. Look no further, our tennis ball experts have taken the guesswork out of selecting a tennis ball in our Wilson Tennis Ball Guide.  

Wilson Tennis Ball Guide

We mentioned that not all tennis balls are created equal, but what does that mean? Below we explore some of our most popular tennis balls, as well as what kind of player and surface they are intended for.



By far our most popular tennis ball, the Wilson US Open Tennis Ball has long been considered the gold standard for hard court tennis ball performance. This ball has been the Official Ball of the US Open for over 4 decades and is known for its premium woven felt that delivers fast, consistent flight and rebound. This iconic model is a great choice for intermediate to advanced players who are looking for a tournament-level ball, and is available in Extra Duty, Regular Duty and High Altitude.



The first of its kind, Triniti delivers incredible performance in completely recyclable packaging. If you feel that twinge of guilt every time you pop that can of plastic balls, then Triniti is the ball for you. Its unique plastomer core provides four times the fresh ball feel of a standard tennis ball, all while living outside of a pressurized can. Couple that with stretch felt that lends excellent flexibility and durability and you’ve got hours upon hours of consistent play using the most innovative and sustainably-minded ball out there.

Triniti is great on all court surfaces and is perfect for eco-conscious players of any skill level.



20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer (ever heard of him?) helped design this premium tennis ball to his preferred specs. Packaged in a sleek can and accompanied by a personal letter of inspiration from the GOAT himself, the RF Legacy Tennis Ball plays fast and features a versatile felt, ideal for all court surfaces. This high-performance tennis ball is a great choice for advanced players who prefer a fast-paced game, or even those just looking for a nice RF souvenir for their bookshelf at home!



Tried and true, our Championship Tennis Ball has been a favorite for casual and recreational players for years. Thanks to its specially engineered Dura-Weave felt, this ball is very durable, holding up well against even the most abrasive court surfaces with impressive durability and reliability. If you’re looking for a solid tennis ball at a great price, the “Champ” ball is the way to go!


Designed specifically for youth players who are just learning the sport, Transition or Starter Tennis Balls play nice and slow – giving young and developing players a chance to really focus on their swing and making contact with the ball. Transition Tennis Balls are color coded based on the age of the player.


US Open Red Tournament Transition Tennis Balls are the first step for new tennis players. Designed for ages 8 and under, red transition balls are depressurized and bounce about 75% less than a normal tennis ball.


US Open Orange Tournament Transition Tennis Balls are great for kids aged 9-10. These are low compression balls that bounce about half as high as a normal tennis ball.


US Open Green Tournament Transition Tennis Balls are the final step for young players before they transition to a traditional tennis ball. Designed for kids aged 11 and up, the green balls bounce about 25% less than a normal tennis ball.



Now that you have the rundown of our tennis ball assortment, you may be wondering: what’s the difference between Extra Duty, Regular Duty and High Altitude? If so, you’re not alone! Check out the differences between these tennis ball types here:

Extra Duty

Developed for hard, abrasive court surfaces, Extra Duty tennis balls have a thicker felt woven a bit looser around the core to withstand shearing. That means that the felt on these balls are less likely to fluff up as they are played. While Extra Duty balls tend to be more durable, they don’t play as fast as Regular Duty balls. You can quickly identify our Extra Duty balls by their black Wilson logos.

Regular Duty

Regular Duty tennis balls are developed for softer surfaces – like clay or indoor courts. Increased moisture and dirt can cause these balls to fluff up more than Extra Duty balls, though they use a thinner felt woven more tightly around the core to resist this fluffing. These balls play faster, but are less durable than Extra Duty, and they can be easily identified by their red Wilson logos.

High Altitude

As the name suggests, High Altitude tennis balls are developed for courts above 3,500 feet. A depressurized core helps regulate lively tennis ball performance, keeping them a bit more under control at these higher altitudes where standard tennis balls tend to “fly."



Given certain trade-offs, it is possible to use either Regular Duty or Extra Duty on any court surface. Players who prefer a faster ball could consider using a Regular Duty ball on a hard surface, with the trade-off being slightly reduced wear. Players preferring slower, more durable balls could try using an Extra Duty ball on a soft court surface, with the trade-off being increased fluff.

As a leader in the tennis ball industry for decades, Wilson has unparalleled innovation and a long track record of success regardless of the stage. Whether you’re a professional player with titles under your belt or a beginner just learning how to swing a racket, we guarantee there is a Wilson round fuzzy right up your alley.