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Taylor Fritz chimes in on Bergs and Wawrinka's ball complaints: 'Three different balls in three weeks'
The American revealed he's been dealing with "wrist issues" since the summer that he attributes to ball changes.
Published Oct 01, 2023
The great ball debate is heating up once again. American Taylor Fritz has joined a chorus of complaints about the state of the tennis balls used on the ATP Tour, or, more specifically, the wide variety of them.
Fritz revealed on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he's been dealing with wrist issues "since [the] beginning of [the US Open] series" as a result of frequent ball changes, with the American claiming that three different balls were used in a three-week span.
Fritz's comment was in response to social media commentary from Zizou Bergs, who missed two weeks this year with torn ligaments in his wrist, and Stan Wawrinka.
This week, Bergs, a Belgian currently ranked No. 181, posted on his Instagram story: "I think it's time to look carefully at the fact that many players are getting wrist injuries, which could possibly be prevented by not changing the balls every week."
Bergs also tagged the PTPA, Novak Djokovic's fledgling tennis-player union. Wawrinka reposted Bergs' story, agreed with him, and added tennis ball, eyeroll and facepalm emojis.
It's not the first time that a Top 10 player, specifically, has commentated on the merry-go-round of little green spheres this year. At Roland Garros, then-world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz was asked what rule he'd change in tennis, and he swiftly called out frequent ball changes.
"I'm going to say the balls, you know, to play with the same ball," Alcaraz said. "For me, that's the only thing I would change, playing all the tournaments all year with the same ball.
"Now you have to adapt your game. In each tournament, the ball is different. We have some problems if it is a different ball in each tournament. You're playing one week with one ball and the next you're completely changed with a different one."
Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas also made similar comments at the start of the year in the aftermath of the Australian Open, with the Greek blaming Melbourne's Dunlop balls for a shoulder injury.
Attentive fans might recall that a similar debate took place on the WTA Tour last year ahead of the US Open, where eventual champion Iga Swiatek and then-No. 4 Paula Badosa raised complaints about the balls used, and asked why they used regular duty balls at the New York major while the men played with extra duty.
This year, the women and men played with the same balls at the US Open.