‘It’s killing our bodies’ – Tennis bosses told their balls-up will lead to more injuries
Tennis has a ball problem and the number of players struggling with injuries related to the heaviness of the ball will only get worse if nothing is done.
That is the opinion of Vasek Pospisil.
Tennis balls have been a hot topic for debate on both the ATP and WTA Tours in recent years as several players have criticised the weight of the balls.
Pospisil took to Twitter/X to express his concern over the current state of balls as he believes it is a major factor in the number of injuries being suffered by players.
“There were discussions a few years back that the ATP/WTA wanted to ‘slow the game down’ to have longer points for fans,” the Canadian started off.
“The balls have been getting incrementally heavier and surprise surprise, it’s killing our bodies. Almost every player I’ve spoken to feels the same way.
“I’ve never seen more wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries in the locker room. If these changes to the ball don’t start getting reversed, it’s only going to get worse. Please start listening @atptour @wtatour. Player injuries are bad for you too.”
There were discussions a few years back that the ATP/WTA wanted to “slow the game down” to have longer points for fans. The balls have been getting incrementally heavier and surprise surprise, it’s killing our bodies. Almost every player I’ve spoken to.. [1/2]
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) September 2, 2023
Earlier this year Daniil Medvedev expressed his unhappiness over the balls that are being used on hard courts and believed it contributed to an injury.
“In Australia I felt like these balls were not good for hard courts, and in the match with [Sebastian] Korda, before the match, I had a very big pain in my wrist, but I thought, okay, that’s my problem, so I’m not going to talk much about it,” the former world No 1 said.
“Then in Rotterdam, a doubles player came to me and started talking about balls and (said) that everyone has problems with their elbow, wrist. He thinks it’s because of the balls. I was like, ‘Wow, so I’m not the only one.'”
A few weeks later, Stefanos Tsitsipas echoed Medvedev’s comments and urged tournaments to use the same ball.
“Balls need to stay the same in most tournaments and especially on hard surfaces. This benefits us all and protects players from injury,” he said.
“I have had comments from other players about the balls at the beginning of the year and that they had a significant impact on the shoulders, wrists, and arm in general. I think that’s where my injury comes from.”
Currently the US Open, Wimbledon and French Open all use Wilson balls, the Australian Open uses Dunlop balls while various different balls are being used at tournaments over the season.
Former world No 4 and 1997 US Open runner-up Greg Rusedki weighed in on the debate and he warned that “nothing changes”.
“The main issue is having one ball throughout the year with the same felt, pressure and weight,” he wrote on Twitter/X. “Very easy solution to stop injuries. Same discussion even when I was playing 30 years ago. Nothing changes. Problem is that tournaments have different ball sponsors.”
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