One of the comms mentioned that men and women use different balls at the USO; men use the heavier ones which fluff up more and slows down the game.
Did a little googling and found this:
Q. A friend of mine had a Golf magazine and it stated that maybe the PGA needs to make the pro golfers use a different ball than the common player due to the distances a pro golfer can hit a normal golf ball. The article stated that in Tennis it is a well known fact that the pro tournaments use a different ball than what the common player would use because the pros would hit the normal ball much to fast. Is this true?
A. No. This is false.
Sometimes the women use a different (regular duty felt) ball than do the men (extra duty felt) during hard court tournaments. In fact, this occurs at the US Open. This is designed to “speed up” the women’s game and to “slow down” the men’s game, if only marginally. But, no… the balls that professional players use in tournaments can be purchased over the counter.
Q. Recently, I was in an argument with my neighbor because he said the tennis balls for women's matches at the US Open were actually lighter and smaller. He said that it was to help "speed" the play of the ball and the matches. Is this true? - I have watched many professional matches and I have never heard that.
A. I am not sure that I would categorize the balls as being lighter or smaller, but your neighbor is generally correct. The women use regular duty felt balls while the men play with extra-duty felt during the US Open. If his facts are a little off, at least his reasoning is accurate. This selection was designed to increase the ball speed in women’s game and to slow down the velocity of the balls in the men’s game.
How long has this practice been going on? Watched tennis for nearly 30 years and did not know this.
Does the same thing occur at the Aus Open?