Known as the only player ever to defeat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, Swede Robin Soderling has turned his hand in recent times toward the creation of the durable and play-friendly RS Black Edition Tennis Ball.
Contacting Soderling and his partners for a play-test, I was pleasantly surprised with the initial black matte packaging of the balls and the fact that they sent over a case for use to try. Coaching and playing the game for nearly 25 years, I’ve had the chance to play with every ball on the market on every surface. Without naming any names, every ball that I’ve used has either produced pro durability, has been too heavy or even too light. I’m sure most of us out there want a ball that is easy on the body and provides enough life that it can stand up to more than one hour on court.
Taking these factors into account, Soderling, his partners and lab associates went hard at work to develop a product that provides great “feel” to the masses.
For starters, it’s great that each can contains four balls as opposed to three. Second—and I say this with complete sincerity—the RS Black Edition Tennis Ball is by far the easiest ball that I’ve ever hit. Training players from the beginner to national level, I was impressed at how much better the rallies lasted with each class and how good the ball looked after each session. All in all, the average club player up until the 6.0 level will find that these are some of the best balls on the market.
Without providing too much information as to how the ball is produced, Magnus Alsterback (partner, player and Touring Coach), told me that a key component to the product was an expensive natural-like felt that they used. This high-grade felt certainly adds to the product’s life span.
Looking at this product from the perspective of a highly competitive player, I could see these balls being a tad on the light side. With that said, Soderling and Co. have said that the RS Black Edition ball will be used at the ATP World Tour event in Stockholm in 2015.
Nima Naderi is the Editor in Chief of TennisConnected.com. He is also the Head Teaching Professional at Bayview Golf & Country Club. He is a PTR Professional rated coach and has over 17 years of coaching experience.