The Wilson US Open ball is the one of the most premium level balls on the tennis market today. Although they are such a high class ball, I must admit – I don’t see them as frequently as I expect to at tennis clubs across the country. This isn’t any reflection on the ball, itself, of course. Tennis clubs tend to buy their balls in bulk from online and physical retailers and they often secure deals involving other tennis ball brands.
Although I’ve used the Wilson US Open ball a few times in the past, I hadn’t concentrated my efforts fully on its playability. Therefore, I was excited to take this playtest for TheTennisBros.com and put the Wilson US Open ball through a couple of hours of heavy hitting on court!
Power – 8/10
I found the power came easily when these balls were fresh from the can. Flat serves rocketed from my racket with a pleasing “POP” and when ramping up my swing speed on the forehand, I felt I was accessing my return of investment; the ball leaving my stringbed with some real MPH.
Being recognized as a premium level ball, I would have been disappointed if I’d paid for a ball which was dead straight out of the can. Believe it or not, I’ve experienced this personally with a few, supposedly premium level, balls, but we’ll save that story for another article.
As the playtest continued, as with all balls, the power levels started to noticeably drop away. It’s physics! This is always going to happen with tennis balls, but it’s way more of issue with some balls compared to others.
In the case of the Wilson US Open ball, the ball’s power level deteriorated a little quicker than I was hoping for, but it wasn’t disastrous like some of the Dunlop balls I’ve tested.
Spin – 8/10
Kick serves fizzed nicely over the net, and my backhand slices stayed low with “knifing” penetration. All of this was possible due to the US Open ball’s ability to take on spin potential from the racket’s strings.
I’ve rated the ball at an 8/10 as I was very satisfied with the level of RPMs that this ball was and is able to generate. Of course, as the playtest wore on, so did the balls and the spin element did drop away a little. However, the drop off in the playability of the balls was not severe enough to negatively affect my strokes too severely.
Control – 8/10
Control is an element that we should all be looking for more of in our game. The Wilson US Open offered great levels of control without sacrificing the power element of the tennis ball.
Towards the end of the playtest, the ball’s control aspect had started to dissipate. Suddenly, I didn’t feel as confident on my second serves as it became increasingly difficult to generate a large amount of topspin on serve.
Despite this, I didn’t send the ball long too often with the older balls, so couldn’t complain!
Touch – 8/10
The US Open has very pleasing levels of touch. Volleying with this ball was a joy and I can see it becoming a popular choice for doubles matches in the club leagues.
It was also a very comfortable ball to play with. Even amongst premium balls, like this one, some balls can feel much harsher or harder, bouncier or lighter than balls of competing brands. For instance, the Head Tour ball feels incredible to me, but I’ve heard club members of the older generation describe them as “too bouncy” in their matches. In this case, perhaps they’re probably used to playing with old, dead balls, rather than new ones, on match day. But still, the fact remains – all the of the various ball brands out there can feel subtly different to the touch.
Durability – 6/10
The ball didn’t blow me away in terms of durability. No tennis ball will or should last for long anyway, but some definitely do wear faster than others. When you’re paying a lot of money for a ball, for it to last only a few minutes, then having to open another can of balls, really isn’t cool at all.
In terms of the US Open ball, I’d say it did fluff up and soften quicker than the Head Tour (formerly Head ATP) ball, but it certainly wasn’t anywhere in the same low division league as the Dunlop Fort All Court ball, which is probably the very pinnacle of crappy, overpriced tennis balls.
For those of you who haven’t read our other ball reviews to draw any comparisons from, I’d say the US Open ball came out around the upper end of average in terms of durability.
When testing for durability, one of the most overlooked factors is actually the surface you are playing on. On courts such as Savannah or acrylic, they are not as abrasive as hard tarmac, and so, the balls will not fluff up quite so quickly.
During this playtest, I was playing on hard tarmac, so perhaps I shredded the balls a little quicker than I would have done on artificial grass or clay, but rest assured, I took this into account when scoring the ball.
Finally, the weather remained dry during this playtest, so I didn’t have the chance to see whether the ball held up during adverse weather conditions. However, my gut feeling told me that these balls wouldn’t have performed horrendously at all, had the rain started lashing down in “Sunny England”.
The Wilson US Open tennis ball is a very good ball indeed and deserves its premium level status. It’s priced similarly to the Head Tour ball, though, so I would still choose the Tours over these, due to the enhanced durability of the Head Tour ball.
However, I will never be able to speak for everyone! You may genuinely prefer the feel and response of the US Open ball. The only way to know is to buy yourself a few cans, or in bulk if you’re feeling like a bargain, and give them a try on court!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of this playtest and would wholeheartedly recommend this ball to club, county, national and professional level players, alike.
Remember, before making any final decisions on your “ball of choice”, consider their playability on different surfaces and be sure in your choices before making any bulk purchases.
Review by: Tom