Ball Gain: Wilson launches new clay-specific tennis balls

by: Richard Pagliaro January 15, 2013

Wilson gains global visibility as the maker of the official Australian Open tennis balls. Melbourne is the blue room of the majors: It’s blue-on-blue hard courts were built to present a contrasting canvas to the optic yellow ball for players and fans.

Now, Wilson is introducing surface-specific balls—in color-coded packaging—just in time for the clay-court season that kicks in after the Aussie Open concludes. Launching later this month, the new Wilson Tour Clay Red and Tour Clay Green balls are desiged to provide surface-specific performance for red clay and green clay “court characteristics in different countries.”

The Tour Clay Red balls are built for use on red-clay courts and targeted for Europe and South America. The Tour Clay Green balls, endorsed by Har Tru Sports, are created for Har Tru (green-clay) courts, predominantly found in North America. Typically, red-clay courts elicit a higher bounce than Har Tru courts.

So what’s the difference between these balls and existing clay-court balls? Wilson says a new feature it calls “Element Guard” technology “prevents moisture and sediment pick up and offers a more consistent playing ball.” Essentially, it diminishes the amount of dirt that can accumulate on balls during the course of play. The concept is designed to keep balls free of clay build-up, and create a truer bounce in the process.

Do they really work? We’ll be play-testing them on Har-Tru in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. 

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