Tennis Australia Renews Partnership With Dunlop Despite Ball Criticism
Despite criticism from several top players over the quality of the balls used at this year’s Australian Open, Tennis Australia has renewed its deal with manufacturer Dunlop for another five years.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray are among those who have complained about the balls, saying they wear down quickly and lose pressure, becoming softer and making it more difficult to hit winners.
Tennis Australia first switched from Wilson to Dunlop for the 2019 tournament, with the manufacturer claiming at the time that “players often refer to the Dunlop balls as being the best on tour”.
Commenting on the renewal, a Tennis Australia spokesperson, said: “Tennis Australia and Dunlop have renewed their partnership for a further five years.”
“Dunlop has a long history of producing high-quality tennis balls with consistency, durability, and little variance. Dunlop is the most-used ball on the international tennis tour.
“Player satisfaction is vital, and we will continue to gather feedback from the playing group and ensure it is factored in to the design, manufacturing, and testing process,” they said.
Despite the criticism, Dunlop has insisted that the balls that have come under fire during the tournament are no different from those used in previous years, and tournament director Craig Tiley has argued that the weather conditions, particularly humidity this year, have changed player perception of the balls.
The announcement comes after Tennis Australia announced a partnership with Somersby.