Most beginner Tennis players may wonder how long a can of tennis balls will last. Well, this depends on some factors. Personally, I use a new can every time I play. I believe that beginners should start playing with best tennis balls. Now, How long do Tennis Balls Last? Usually, for one session of play, a new can of tennis balls should last between 2-3 hours of constant hitting for the everyday or competitive player. That is probably the approximate duration considered to remain bouncy and fresh for most players. Although, after then, the balls can be playable; but are commonly used for warm-ups and practice.

However, a can of the ball may last longer as long as you need them to be, but the truth is: they will lose their bounce significantly after the first use. The loss of the tennis ball’s bounce will depend on the type of player or the frequency of usage. It is essential as a tennis player to be able to know when a tennis ball’s lifetime has exceeded. You know you shouldn’t bring dead balls to the court.

What Are ‘Dead’ Tennis Balls?

Before I drive on, what are tennis made of? You should know that tennis balls are manufactured with a rubber core that is hollow and covered in a wool shell that is called nap. The pressurized air in the ball makes it bounce. Balls that do not have sufficient pressurized air in them to make a thud when they are hit are known as dead.

If you are just starting out playing tennis balls, you might not be familiar with this terminology. The everyday play calls a tennis ball dead after it flattens and loses its bounce. how can you tell if a tennis ball is dead might not be easy to tell though! In this condition, the ball bounces lesser than one fresh ball from the can.

How do I determine when a Tennis Ball Is Dead?

Generally, there are 3 ways you can use to determine when a Tennis ball is dead or unplayable for good hitting.

Squeeze The Ball

Hold And Squeeze the ball in your palm. If you can pinch the sides together, then the ball has become too flat. A fresh ball will proof hard to squeeze. Take note of this. A new ball will hardly give in when squeezed.


Compare the bouncing of the old and new one. In each hand, hold the two balls- that is, the old and new with your arms outstretched at shoulder’s height. Observe this: if the used ball does not bounce a high as the new ball, don’t use again to start up a new session or match.


A deflated thud sound will be heard when you strike the used ball with your racquet. A dead’s ball’s sound easily noticed. As time goes, you can easily spot a dead ball, and when you do, don’t use it in a new session. Sometimes, tennis balls take a longer time before they become dead balls. Depending on how much they are used, a can of tennis balls could last up to weeks or a month. Players who hit tennis balls harder will cause them to wear quicker than their normal lifetime.  Take note that if you use dead balls in a match play, most people will classify such stage as “old” balls. You can hit used balls during practice or warm-ups.

Why are tennis cans pressurized?

Tennis balls are more pressurized inside than the outside. Why? To help them bounce well for a match play. The vacuumed pressurized air gives them their bounce. When they begin to lose that bounce due to overuse or over-hitting by players, they become dead.

How to keep tennis balls fresh?

Have you been wondering how to keep tennis balls fresh? The best way to keep your balls fresh is to get a tool known as Tennis ball saver or a pressurizer. It is like a can where you can place your tennis balls and cover it with a lid. After you close the lid, you then increase the pressure inside the can.  Since the pressure inside is higher, it means that there would be lesser pressure leak than if you keep your ball in normal air pressure.  Tennis Ball Saver will slow down the flatting process of the tennis ball.

How quickly does a tennis ball lose its bounce?

For a ball to lose its bounce quickly, it depends on usage. Tennis balls can last if players don’t hit too hard, and they can soon lose their bounce if the frequency of usage is high. When this occurs, it means that the tennis ball is a dead ball.

5 Best tennis balls for clay court

Some may feel that finding good tennis balls is not easy. But that’s not true. There are better options for finding the best tennis balls out there that come in numerous quality brands, playing surface, altitude etc. You can find exactly what you are looking for! When playing on clay courts, one needs the right balls for the surface. From my research, below are the 5 Best tennis balls for clay court.



Our Rating

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Penn Championship Extra Duty Tennis Balls

4.8/5 5/5 4.8/5 Check Price On Amazon

Wilson Prime All Court Tennis Balls

4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 Check Price On Amazon

Penn Championship Regular Duty Tennis Balls

4.6/5 5/5 4.6/5 Check Price On Amazon

Penn Pink Championship Extra Duty Tennis Ball

4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 Check Price On Amazon

Wilson Championship Tennis Balls

4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 Check Price On Amazon

Though some players have their favorites, we considered the durability, playability, and overall popularity to come up with this list. We have considered everything from durability, playability to overall popularity.

Frequently Asked Question

What Are The Longest Lasting Tennis Balls?

In my opinion, in terms of quality and playability, the Pro Penn balls, which are similar to Penn ATP are made with Encore Technology, which places them among the longest-lasting pressurized balls on the market.

How long do tennis balls last unopened?

You may want to know how long tennis balls last unopened. Tennis balls don’t last forever. Usually, the lifetime is 2 years. There are micro leaks in cans. If you want it to last opened, don’t unseal the cans so there won’t be a loss of pressure. Keep the unused ones in sealed cans.

Are Used Balls Useful?

Used balls can be used for such purpose of warm-ups and practice. After much use, balls significantly lose their bounce.  This doesn’t mean that they are not useful or have to be thrown away. You might keep the can in your bag for warm-ups. Sometimes, you may want to go out for fun with a friend to practice; you can use used balls for this purpose. Usually, coaches assign a case of new balls for practice. They rarely open new cans of tennis balls save for a new match. Since they will be hit less significantly, they are expected to last for months.


A new can of tennis balls may probably last for one match for competitive or everyday players. It is very common for players in the category to open up new cans for every match because most people would like to play with a fresh ball. In world standards, it is common to always open cans for a new session.  The used balls can last for a week or a month before they become dead balls, which you can always use for practice purposes.

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