Dunlop tennis balls review
Tennis balls have become an increasingly competitive product for brands in recent years as the boom in tennis popularity has lead to a huge increase in sales of balls. So we decided to put Dunlop tennis balls to the test
Dunlop are one of the oldest and most well respected brands in tennis and in recent years their focus on producing tennis balls has given them huge success both on the professional tour and in tennis clubs around the world.
Dunlop are the official ball supplier for the ATP Tour and the Australian Open so it’s no surprise that all three of their ‘top of the range’ balls feature these endorsements.
The Dunlop ATP Official ball is their most expensive ball across their entire range and is the exact ball you’ll find being used at more ATP tennis tournaments than any other ball.
The Dunlop Australian Open ball has been played with at the first Slam of the year since 2019, is approved by the International Tennis Federation and is the second priced ball in their range.
The Dunlop ATP Championship ball is the lowest price in their top range, comes with endorsement from the ATP Tour and is designed to appeal to club and recreational players.
As simple as a tennis ball may look there are actually two key areas of their manufacture that have been developed in recent years, the cloth and the core. Dunlop have developed a range of 3 different cores and 2 different cloths which they explain as follows:
HD Core: A high-specification re-mastering and re-engineering of the classic Dunlop Fort Core. You get a ball with more durability and a more consistent playing characteristics.
HD Pro Core: Ultimate high-performance core. The HD Pro Core is engineered using premium materials to create an ultra-consistent performance for the world’s elite tournaments & players.
Max Core: Dunlop MAX CORE technology is specially engineered for use with lighter, non-woven cloth, perfect for all-round play-ability.
HD Pro Cloth: Ultra-high-specification and ultra-visible cloth technology engineered for the world’s elite tournaments and players.
Durafelt HD Cloth: A premium non-woven cloth which delivers superb consistency with good durability.
The 3 balls Tennishead tried include the following technologies:
|HD Core||HD Pro Core||Max Core||HD Pro Cloth||Durafelt HD Cloth|
Tennishead decided to put all 3 of these balls to the test by getting together some hard hitting tournament players and letting them loose with each of these Dunlop balls to find out what they thought.
Enjoy our review video
This is what our testers had to say when questioned after their practise session with the 3 different Dunlop tennis balls.
Kenzo started by hitting with the Dunlop ATP Official ball. How did the speed of this ball feel when it was fresh out of the tube?
“I thought this ball was pretty quick. They had a very lively bounce off the court and felt quicker than the other two Dunlop balls we tested.”
So how did they compare to the Dunlop Championship and Dunlop Australian Open balls?
“The bounce of the ATP balls felt a little higher and quicker than the Australian Open ball. Once the ball left the ground it felt like I was getting pushed back a little more than the Australian Open ball. The ATP Championship ball was the lowest bouncing of the three we tested”
George, you play tournament tennis and use Dunlop balls on your circuit. Would you agree with Kenzo’s sentiment on the difference between the balls?
“I think the Dunlop ATP ball is definitely the bounciest and they also take a lot of spin and react really well off the court. The Dunlop Australian Open balls are quite quick but I feel they seem to fluff up quicker than the ATP Official ball whereas the Championship ball seems a little softer which makes them stay lower on the bounce.”
Aidan, what did you think about the Dunlop ATP Championship balls. Did they have the same feel as the Australian Open or ATP Official balls?
“My coach uses the Championship ball and I’d say they last a long time but aren’t as lively off the court as the other two balls we tested.”
If you are trying to get feel in your shots, maybe when hitting a drop shot, which of the Dunlop balls is your favourite?
George: “I think the Australian Open balls are a little better for touch as they seem softer but you can definitely get more spin with the ATP Official ball”
Ok, so if we talk about pure speed of these 3 balls when they are fresh out of the can, which is the quickest?
Kenzo: “It’s between the ATP Official and the Australian Open ball but I’d go with the ATP Official ball”
After you’ve played with these balls for a while, say after the first set of a match, which ball has stayed the freshest?
George: “For me the ATP Official ball keeps its firmness and speed the best”
So to summarise the comments from our testers…
If you are practising a lot then the ATP championship balls gives you good durability and might be best for a club player who wants better value for money.
The Australian Open ball is a little cheaper than the ATP Official ball and is still a great match player ball and it’s not easily apparent why it’s priced lower than the ATP Official balls
Last question.. You are heading out for a match, which ball would you choose?
Kenzo: “The Dunlop ATP Official ball”
George: “Yes I’d also take the ATP Official ball”
Aidan: “I’d take the ATP Official ball as well”
There you have it…
The ATP Official ball comes through as the favourite but it is also the most expensive. Interestingly the lower priced Australian Open ball still rates as a high quality match play ball with our testers but the ATP Official ball did keep its firm bounce throughout the match even in the later stages. The ATP Championship balls is a very good quality ball especially for a club player who’s maybe not playing as many matches but wants value for money or if you are a coach or being coached then this ball also offers good durability.
The quality of all 3 Dunlop balls was evident to see with distinct differences between the ATP Official ball, the Australian Open ball and the ATP Championship ball.
If a lower bouncing, long lasting, competitively priced tennis ball is what you want then the Dunlop ATP Championship ball was unilaterally approved by our testers.
If you want to step up in price and are looking for a ball more suited to competitve players on the match court then both the Dunlop ATP Official ball and the Australian Open ball will seemingly deliver what you want with some subtle differences.
The Australian Open ball came across as being slightly softer and suited to a player looking for touch and less worried about generating a lot of spin and speed whereas the ATP Official ball was favoured by those aggressive players looking to hit big, high bouncing spinning shots.
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