“A game of agility.”
“A different level of endurance.”
“Unique in the world of sports.”
Popular commentators have been charmed and awed by tennis for its high tenacity, athleticism, and competitiveness.
The French Open, however, demands much more.
The French Open tournament
As one of the four most important and prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, the French Open is the only one played on a clay court. Clay courts make you slower, making it even harder to hit winning points. To triumph, one requires a certain level of dexterity and skill, along with a distinct temperament, timing, footwork, and physical endurance.
And while maintaining a strong rally needs a comprehensive strategy with lots of patience and resolve, we forget the one-piece playoff sports equipment serving us this grand spectacle - a tennis ball; made of fibrous felt with in-built aerodynamic properties.
The ‘air’ about a good game of tennis
The bounce in a tennis ball is caused by air that is pumped into the ball. As the air pushes against the inside of the ball it creates pressure. When the ball hits the ground, the side of the ball squishes inwards and the air on the inside pushes out again, and that's what pushes the ball back up - off the ground, thus creating the bounce.
Tennis balls feature a higher pressure on the inside as compared to the outside. The air pushes on the inside with a force of about 27 pounds per square inch, 13.7 pounds per square inch on the outside. This difference in pressure results in a resistance which accounts for the ‘bounce’.
Storage under pressure
A tennis ball is stored in pressurized containers to ensure that equal pressure is pushing on both, the inside and outside of the ball.
The container opens with a 'pop' sound caused by the compressed pressure that is released from the inside of the container. Over time, as the ball gets older, small amounts of air start to seep out. This minimizes the inside pressure and as a result, its bounce.
Compressed air in sports equipment
Inflating and pressurizing the core is one of the most important processes for a tennis ball.
The compressed-air inflation method is one of the most widely used methods in the sports equipment industry. Two halves of the ball are combined to create a core in a compressed air chamber for around eight to ten minutes. After this, the core is cooled so that the internal pressure drops to less than that of the pressure outside. Once the pieces are joined, the felt is prepared for the circumference of the ball, followed by the cloth to cover the ball, and finally, it is stamped with the logo.
Speed, bounce, spin which are characteristic of quality tennis balls, are also responsible for the game of the player, which comes with a lot of practice.
Practice, practice, and more practice
Aspiring tennis players need to learn to be nimble and sharp, perfecting their game with flair and consistency, which comes with practice. Tennis ball practice machines use compressed air to power their rotating mechanism. Offering different oscillations, height, and directions, the tennis ball launcher enables the player to move around the court and deal with different types of shots without having to adjust the machine.
Thrilling sports do have an ‘air’ about them.
You can find compressed air equipment for your requirements by reaching out to our air experts: https://www.elgi.com/