Tennis balls increase in size as they start to wear down. As these balls increase in size, they travel slower across the court. This slight difference in the ball can change a player’s ability to return a serve.
You knew the rackets used in the game made a big difference, and the court the game is played on makes a big difference, but you probably did not know that the weave of the covering can change the trajectory and flight speed of those little yellow-green spheres.
How Much Does A Tennis Ball Weigh?
The average tennis ball weighs between 1.975 ounces and 2.095 ounces. The International Tennis Federation regulates the ball weights and declares that an official ball must be no lighter than 56.0 grams and no heavier than 59.4 grams.
The covering of these balls is a nylon-wool blend. The companies that make them make them better on different court surfaces.
When the ball is intended for more complex surfaces, the manufacturer will use a heavy-duty felt and make it with a looser weave. This allows the hops to last longer.
When the ball is used on a softer surface, the weave of the covering is tighter and improves the ball’s bounce.
Rackets and More
The racket used with the ball cannot be longer than 29 inches.
Tennis rackets come in different weights. The strings of the racket each weigh about 0.5 ounces. For a beginning player and up to a level 3.0 player, the noise should be 10 ounces or less. For more experienced players, the noise should weigh 11 ounces or more.
A heavier racket is more brutal to swing, so the beginner can use the lighter racket to learn all the necessary movements without injuring themselves. The heavier racket allows you to hit a ball with more force, so experienced players choose the heavier rackets for gameplay.
You may not know that tennis rackets have different amounts of flexibility. The flexibility is determined by how much the frame bends when the ball strikes it.
More flexibility in the racket’s frame means that a greater amount of the shock or force is absorbed. That reduces the amount of shock the arm and shoulder of the player feel.
On the other hand, a stiffer racket allows the player to hit the ball with greater force.
When shopping for rackets the thinner the beam is the more flexibility it will have. Thicker beams do not have the same amount of giving but deliver greater force.
At one time the courts this game was played on were shaped like an hourglass instead of being rectangular. The hourglass configuration was changed in 1875.
The rectangular court has a firm surface but the surface may be covered in a variety of materials, including grass. The different surface types include:
Each surface provides the player with unique playing opportunities. The speed with which the balls move will change and the speed at which the player can move will also change.
If designed for single matches a tennis court measures 78 feet in length and 27 feet in width. If designed for doubles or team play the courts measure 78 feet in length and 36 feet in width.
The service lines on the court measure 21 feet from the net on each side.
To build a standard size court with ample external room around it you will need an area that is 120 feet in length and 60 feet in width.
The 3’ high net is 3’5” high at the corner posts.
Did You Know?
- Tennis elbow is a real medical condition. It is the inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the outside section of the elbow.
- Venus and Serena Williams are the first sisters to ever win Olympic gold medals in the game of tennis.
- The Wimbledon Grand Slam has always been played on a grass court.
- If an additional ball enters the court while a point is in progress the point has to be replayed
- If a team audibly communicates while playing doubles they forfeit the game.
- If the serving player swings during the toss but misses the ball it is called a fault.
- Tennis can be played by people in wheelchairs.
- The First Grand Slam was the French Open.
- The longest tennis match played lasted 11 hours and five minutes. It was played by John Isner and Nicolas Mahut.
Have Tennis Balls Always Been Yellow?
No. Before yellow was the color of choice, these balls were white.
When Was The Tennis Ball Invented?
They were first made into the ball we recognize today in the 1870s.
Why Did They Choose The Yellow/Green Color For Tennis Balls?
That decision was made when the games started to be on television. The yellow/green color of the ball made it easier to keep track of.