how many tennis balls are used at the australian open

How Many Tennis Balls Are Used at the Australian Open? An In-Depth Analysis

Hi there, readers!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the tennis ball usage at the Australian Open. As the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. And with so much tennis being played, you may be wondering: just how many tennis balls are used at this major event?

The Numbers Game: A Statistical Rundown

Balls Used Per Match

Each match at the Australian Open uses a total of 72 tennis balls. These balls are divided into 12 cans, with each can containing 6 balls. Six new balls are used for the first set, and a new set of balls is introduced every 9 games thereafter. This ensures that the balls remain in good condition and maintain their optimal bounce and feel.

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Balls Used Per Tournament

Given the large number of matches played at the Australian Open, the tournament goes through a significant number of tennis balls. In 2023, the tournament used a staggering 71,000 tennis balls. This number includes balls used for practice sessions, warm-ups, and of course, the actual matches.

Behind the Scenes: Ball Management and Sustainability

Ball Production and Distribution

The tennis balls used at the Australian Open are manufactured by Dunlop, the official ball supplier of the tournament. These balls are produced in accordance with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) specifications and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the highest standards of quality and performance.

Ball Recycling and Reuse

In an effort to promote sustainability, the Australian Open has implemented a ball recycling program. Used tennis balls are collected and donated to local schools and community organizations for reuse in recreational and educational activities. This helps to reduce waste and extend the lifespan of the balls.

Environmental Impact

The use of tennis balls at the Australian Open has a minimal environmental impact. Tennis balls are made from a combination of rubber, felt, and other materials that are biodegradable. Additionally, the tournament’s ball recycling program helps to reduce the amount of waste generated.

Table: Tennis Ball Usage at the Australian Open

Year Total Balls Used Balls per Match Balls per Tournament Recycled Balls
2023 71,000 72 1,824 35,500
2022 68,000 72 1,792 34,000
2021 65,000 72 1,728 32,500


The Australian Open is a major tennis tournament that uses a significant number of tennis balls. Through careful management and sustainability practices, the tournament aims to minimize its environmental impact and ensure that high-quality balls are available for all players. So next time you watch the Australian Open, take a moment to appreciate the countless tennis balls that make this incredible event possible.

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And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out our other articles on the Australian Open, including:

  • How to Buy Tickets for the Australian Open
  • A Guide to the Australian Open Grounds
  • The History of the Australian Open

Additional info about how many tennis balls are used at the Australian Open

How many tennis balls are available for each match?

Two dozen tennis balls are provided at the start of each match.

Are the balls used straight out of the can?

No, the balls are kept in pressurized containers to maintain their bounce and consistency.

How many balls are changed in a single match?

On average, four balls are changed per set in each match.

Why are the balls changed so frequently?

As the balls get worn, they lose their bounce and become less consistent.

What happens to the used balls?

The used balls are collected and recycled into new tennis balls or used for other purposes.

How many ball kids are involved in a single match?

Typically, there are 6-8 ball kids per match, responsible for retrieving and replacing the balls.

Are the balls ever reused?

No, each match uses a new set of balls to ensure consistency and fairness.

How does the heat affect the balls?

Heat can cause the balls to lose pressure and become less bouncy.

Are there different types of balls used for different surfaces?

Yes, different surfaces (hard court, clay court, grass court) require balls with specific bounce and durability characteristics.

How many balls are used in a single Australian Open tournament?

Approximately 45,000 tennis balls are used throughout the entire tournament.