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Tennis Ball Usage Calculator

Created by Piotr Małek and Álvaro Díez
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024


Are you ready for some ballsy statistics? The Australian Open is heating up, and the players are complaining about the balls not being up to par, but replacing them is not an easy task. Don't believe us? At Omni Calculator, we've done the math for you.

Our tennis ball usage calculator takes into account the number of players, matches, games, and sets, as well as balls lost to the crowd, to give you an accurate estimate of the number of tennis balls used during a tournament. But wait, there's more! Not only is it a fun tool with insight into the lesser-known tennis stats, but it can also help tournament organizers plan for their next event. So grab your racket, and let's dive into the numbers!

When playing tennis, balls are disposable. Not only can they break or get "lost" in the crowd, but they also degrade over time. One would think that it's not a big problem, you can stock a few balls per match, and everything will be fine. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, for major tournaments with over a hundred players, balls represent a significant purchase, with tens of thousands of them used in the span of a week. How is that possible? Let's take a look at it.

According to ATP and WTA standards, a new set of 6 balls is put into the game after the first 7 games of any given match, and then every next 9 games, they're replaced with another 6 balls. For a simple 6-0, 6-0 sweep in the Women's match, only 16 balls will be used. On the other hand, if two Men's tournament participants go into a 5-set clash with 12 games on average in each set, 36 balls will be used. On top of those numbers, hundreds of balls "magically" disappear after landing in the crowds. Who, after all, doesn't want to have that kind of souvenir?

Keep in mind that a lot of events happen during each Grand Slam tournament which accounts for countless balls used. Those are the most popular singles and doubles for both Men and Women. Also, mixed couples play the tournament, along with juniors, disabled players as well as plenty of participants in invitation tournaments.

Are you interested in sports and calculations? We have a wide assortment of sports calculators for you, from marathon pace calculator and hiking calculator to cricket follow-on calculator!

How can I determine number of balls used in a tournament?

The formula to determine the number of balls in a tournament is:

Balls in a tournament = Balls per match × Number of matches

So all you have to do is:

  1. Note the number of balls used per match;
  2. Multiply them by the total number of matches; and
  3. The result is the number of balls used in a tournament.

FAQ

How many times should I use a tennis ball?

If you are a casual tennis player, you may need 2-3 balls per match.

But a professional player may need a new ball for every set.

Is it OK to reuse a tennis ball?

You may reuse tennis balls as long as they do not affect the gameplay. One ball lasts around 3-4 regular game sessions.

Can I keep tennis balls for long?

Tennis balls will last you around 2-3 weeks with moderate game plays.

You can keep tennis balls for a long time provided that you keep them in their pressurized container and do not use them, but even if you do not use them, they expire in 2 years.

How many balls are needed in 20 games?

The total number of balls used in a tournament that lasts 20 games is 31.

The assumption for this result is six players in the tournament, and 1% of balls are lost in the crowd.

Piotr Małek and Álvaro Díez
Select a tournament
Australian Open
Who is playing?
All
Games per set
Sets per match
Balls lost to crowd
%
Results
The tournament will use
10,408
balls
Environmental impact
13,309
lb
CO₂-eq
Plastic waste
1,285
lb
🌳 ~3251 trees are needed to absorb the CO₂ emissions.
This amount of CO₂eq is also equivalent to:
  • 📱 772690 smartphones charged
  • 2571 usgal of gasoline consumed
  • 🚗 24093.2 mi by an average passenger vehicle
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