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Rolland Garros made the switch this year from Dunlop to Babolat.
Several players interviewed by CNN reporters noted on the difference in the new tennis balls.
"In the locker room, a lot of the girls … (are) coming in with a lot of shoulder issues. They say the balls are pretty hard,'' highest ranking American woman, Bethanie Mattek-Sands said in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
Players also commented on the speed of the new balls.
"The balls are very, very fast, so it's really difficult to control,'' Novak Djokovic said.”Maybe it's going to favor the servers and the big hitters.”
The spokesperson for the French Tennis Federation stated that the Babolat tennis balls are made the “exact same way” as the Dunlop balls that were used last year. He added that the warm, dry weather conditions contribute to the higher bounce and velocity of the tennis balls this year.
However, Dunlop released a statement challenging the claim that the new Babolat tennis balls are made the same due to confidential manufacturing processes and formulaic compounds.
"It is impossible to replicate our balls and we felt it was important to clarify this fact given the statement from the FFT and media interest in the matter."
Rolland-Garros is now the only major clay court tounament not using Dunlop balls, according to the press release.
Read the full press release, shared on the Tennis Panorama blog.
- New balls anger Murray (skysports.com)
- New French Balls Have a Je ne Sais Quoi (online.wsj.com)
- Great Balls of Babolat: Players having a ball at Roland Garros? (maketimeforsports.com)
- Federer latest to complain about new balls at Roland Garros (canada.com)
- Djokovic Hones a Masterful Winning Streak (nytimes.com)
- Roger Federer the latest to lodge complaint about new balls at Roland Garros (canada.com)