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The US Open has opted to unify the tennis balls used in women’s matches with those employed in men’s matches.

This year’s U.S. Open will see both men and women utilizing the same tennis ball, addressing concerns voiced by some female players last year regarding the quality of the balls they were using.

Iga Swiatek, who eventually clinched the championship, was among those women who noticed that the lighter ball they were using lost its durability faster compared to the ball used by men. Up until now, the U.S. Open had been the sole Grand Slam tournament to use different balls for men and women.

Stacey Allaster, the tournament director for the U.S. Open, stated on Thursday that the choice of ball was entirely at the discretion of the players and their respective tours. The U.S. The Tennis Association simply needed to gather the players’ preferences after last year’s tournament to guarantee a sufficient ball supply could be arranged through the provider, Wilson.

Last year, she engaged in discussions with several players who expressed a clear preference for the ‘extra duty’ felt ball rather than the ‘regular duty’ felt ball, which the women had been using for decades. The extra duty ball, specifically designed for hard courts like those at Flushing Meadows, was highlighted by Wilson as particularly suitable.

Allaster communicated to the players that they should engage with the leadership of the WTA Tour and their players’ council to address the matter.

She stated, ‘If the WTA desires a ball change, that’s absolutely fine. Wilson is ready to accommodate without any additional cost. Our sole condition to the WTA was to inform us of the chosen ball for the 2023 season by the end of the 2022 U.S. Open. This timeline aligns with Wilson’s production schedule to ensure an adequate supply of balls for our U.S. Open.’

Players have already been using the new ball during the hard-court warmup tournaments in Canada and Ohio. This trial period will continue at the U.S. Open, scheduled to commence on August 28th. Following this trial, the USTA will await a decision on which balls to order for the 2024 season.”

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