Wimbledon Tennis Balls: How many they use and what they do to them?
Wimbledon 2023 is in full swing, and tennis fans are eager for an exciting tournament after the challenges of the past few years. As the superstars like Novak Djokovic or Iga Swiatek take the center stage, there’s another element of intrigue at the All England Club – the tennis balls themselves. So, what exactly happens to these balls at Wimbledon? Let’s find out.
What are the rules on tennis balls at Wimbledon?
The tennis balls used at Wimbledon 2023, supplied by the Dunlop Slazenger Group, are subject to strict competition rules. Players must adhere to these guidelines throughout the tournament. Before serving, players are allowed to check a maximum of four balls to assess their smoothness and firmness. Even slight deviations on the ball’s surface can impact its contact with the racquet, its flight, and the risk of hitting the net.
According to tournament regulations, the balls are changed after the first seven games of a match and then every nine games thereafter. When it’s time to change the balls, the umpire will call for “new balls, please,” which may also prompt players to switch racquets. A total of 48 tins of balls are taken onto each court every day, ensuring a continuous supply for the matches.
To maintain their performance, the tennis balls are stored under lock and key before usage. Each ball is refrigerated at around 68F (20C), providing optimal conditions for their performance during the intense matches.
As the tournament unfolds, approximately 54,250 balls are estimated to be used throughout the competition, contributing to the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the matches at Wimbledon.
What tennis balls do they use at the Wimbledon Open?
At the Wimbledon Open, the tennis balls used are supplied by the Dunlop Slazenger Group. These balls undergo rigorous quality control measures to ensure they meet the tournament’s standards. The specific model used is the Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Ball, featuring the iconic Wimbledon logo and a yellow felt covering.
What happens to the old tennis balls at Wimbledon?
After being used in matches, the old tennis balls at Wimbledon are collected by the ball boys and girls. Wimbledon organizers store these balls until the end of each game day. Some of the used balls are made available for purchase by fans. Any unsold balls are donated to charitable causes. In the past, Wimbledon has donated balls to the UK Wildlife Trust, where they are repurposed as homes for harvest mice. The rubber interiors of the balls are also recycled for use in new floor coverings at indoor tennis and sports training facilities.
Can you buy Wimbledon balls?
Yes, it is possible to purchase Wimbledon tennis balls. Used balls from the tournament can be bought from the Wimbledon Foundation Kiosk at Court 14. Fans have the option to purchase a tin of three used balls for $3 or six balls for $6.10. The proceeds from these sales go towards charitable causes supported by the Wimbledon Foundation. It’s a unique opportunity for fans to own a piece of tennis history while contributing to worthy initiatives. Also, you can buy Wimbledon’s tennis balls at Amazon.