For two years Tennis balls degrade after around two weeks, or three to four playing sessions. Tennis balls that have not been opened are maintained in a pressurized tube to assist them preserve their bounce and stiffness, but even these will expire after two years (due to very tiny leaks).
Tennis ball inflation helps prevent loss of speed and rebound when the ball is not being played with. While still inflated, a new ball can be tuned to match the string pattern of an existing one; once deflated, however, they cannot be re-inflated except to the extent that any air remains within the ball becomes trapped under severe pressure below the surface and can cause minor injuries if it escapes.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) recommends that all tennis balls be inflated to between 110 and 130 psi. Lowering the pressure below this range will lower the flight time of the ball and increase energy consumption, while raising it above this range may cause the ball to appear damaged upon arrival.
Tennis balls are manufactured from polyurethane or rubber materials. Over time these balls lose momentum and become less bouncy. If you want to play like you're still using old balls, go for it! But remember that older balls mean longer rallies and more risk of injury. Old balls are also easier to hit out of court boundaries.
New balls cost about $10 per thousand.
Tennis Balls, Unopened There is always the risk of tiny leaks and material deterioration over time. Tennis balls that have not been opened may last between 2 and 4 years. Open tennis balls can last for several more years.
The life expectancy of a deflated tennis ball is about 500-600 rounds. The actual lifespan will vary depending on how it is used but generally, softball-size tennis balls should be replaced before they become too old or damaged to produce consistent bounces.
There are two types of tennis balls: open and closed. Open balls are those whose covers have been removed so that you can see the core inside. These balls tend to be less expensive than their closed counterparts but also have a shorter lifespan. Closed balls show up in various sizes but usually come in pairs (a small one and a large one). Although these balls are more expensive than open ones, they last much longer because the air inside them doesn't escape as easily.
If you've never bought tennis balls before, don't worry about how many there are. It's okay to start with a package of 10 if you need to get some time off the court before your next purchase. As for size, that's totally dependent on your game. A smaller ball is better for serving while a larger one is preferable for hitting groundstrokes.
Playing style: leisure or competitive Recreational Tennis: If you only play tennis for fun, a can of pressurized tennis balls can last anywhere from 1–4 weeks, depending on how often you use them. After then, the balls will start to lose pressure and bounce. You can extend the life of the ball by storing it in the freezer.
If you are playing tennis professionally or are training to be a coach, a tennis ball used for practice plays will usually last for several months before it starts to degrade. Balls used for competition games should be replaced after three uses.
Extra-duty balls are designed to withstand more strikes than standard balls while still providing consistent play and flight characteristics. These balls tend to be more expensive but may last longer because they are played more frequently. The lifespan of an extra-duty ball is estimated to be between five and ten times that of a standard ball.
Extra-duty balls are sold in two types of packaging: open and closed. In an open package, the ball is exposed to air which increases its likelihood of drying out and reducing its performance over time. For this reason, open packages should be stored in a dry place away from direct sunlight. A closed package allows the ball to remain moisture free even when exposed to air.
Closed packages should be placed in a refrigerator or freezer to preserve their contents. Open packages should be discarded once their shape begins to change.
Tennis strings do not expire, although they do wear out over time. They lose tension and strength over time due to usage and sun exposure. Generally, the life of a stringing will be around one-half of its original lifespan.
As for the handles or grips that many of us are familiar with, these do not have an impact on how long the stringing should last. They may look worn out or old before their time but this has nothing to do with stringing lives. The fact is that these grips are made from natural materials such as wood or rubber, which over time will breakdown if exposed to sunlight or chemicals.
For example, rubber grips can become brittle when exposed to heat or ozone found in sunlight. The same thing goes for wooden grips - especially dark colored woods such as black or brown. These types of handles will begin to break down over time if not kept in good condition. However, this doesn't mean that you should throw out your grip because it looks old. It's just like the strings - they're still usable even though they're showing signs of age. All things considered, grips tend to last longer than most people think.
Grips are a form of personal hygiene for your tennis racket.
Most tennis balls (in an unopened container) have a two-year shelf life. As long as they are in good condition, they should remain playable for about another year after that. If you open a container of balls and don't use them all soon after closing it up again, they will start to lose their bounce over time.
Shelf life is based on the fact that most balls lose weight when they are old because the rubber composition changes as some molecules break down from use. For best results, let the closed container sit at room temperature until they are used up. You could also put them in the freezer for several months and then return them to room temperature before using them again.
The only real maintenance needed for tennis balls is to clean them with a soft brush or cloth now and then. However, don't scrub them too hard or use chemicals to clean them instead; that will just ruin them faster.
Tennis ball manufacturers usually list an expected lifespan on their products. This tells you how many bounces you can expect each ball to last before it becomes obsolete. Some brands say "12 shots" while others may say "90 days". These numbers are generally accurate if used properly.