Using different tennis balls at each ATP/WTA tournament is going to be a real issue

Nick Kyrgios mentioned the balls could be what caused Novak Djokovic's recent wrist injury.
Will Russell/GettyImages

Casual tennis fans may not realize that not all tennis balls are created equal. The science that goes into manufacturing different tennis balls affects the weight and the bounce of different brands of balls. The business side of tennis, namely sponsorship deals, is why tournaments use different tennis balls during the ATP and WTA seasons.

Players travel from one tournament to another and have to adjust to different court conditions, but they also have to adjust to new balls. There is no other professional sport that changes the balls on the players during the season. Can you imagine if professional football players or basketball players had to deal with this issue?

Players are feeling the effects of the different balls with wrist, shoulder, and elbow injuries. Novak Djokovic experienced an elbow injury during the United Cup, and Nick Kyrgios was quick to point out what he believed was the connection. He tweeted: "Change of balls every week finally got to Novak's wrist. The ATP really needs to do something about this problem." While it has not been confirmed that the balls are the cause of Djokovic's injury, this will keep the debate going about creating uniformity of tennis balls.

Nick Kyrgios and Marketa Vondrousova have talked about the problem

American Taylor Fritz tweeted that he dealt with wrist issues last fall during the US Open series because three different balls were used in three weeks' tournaments.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova blamed the heavier balls used in the US Open in 2023 for giving her an elbow injury that forced her to withdraw from doubles.

Fritz and Vondrousova are not the only two players who have raised the issue. Ons Jabeur, Daniil Medvedev, and Stan Wawrinka have also raised concerns. Before his recent injury, Djokovic also talked about this issue on different occasions.

The problem remains unresolved. What will it take to fix it? In the meantime, hopefully, a player is not injured while competing in a final or forced to withdraw from a Grand Slam final because of an injury directly attributed to the tennis balls.

Read more from Lob and Smash