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Tretorn Ball - 120 years

Tretorn Ball - 120 years

1902 - 2022: A 120-year old heritage  

In 1902, barely 10 years after Tretorn was founded, we started producing our own tennis balls. A long and eventful journey associated with innovation and dedication has led us to become a leading producer of tennis balls. For 120 years we have developed our products and the assortment. There is a ball for every player, and every game. Our goal is to offer players on all levels the best conditions during the game. We have developed balls for both beginners and professional tennis players. The last addition to our Serie+ is four variations of balls for padel, each one with individual characteristics for the different kind of players and their goals.  

From the galosh to tennis balls 

Tretorn was founded 1891 in Helsingborg, a coast city in south of Sweden. We started producing galosh’s’ for the farmers. But the assortment grew quickly and after a few years we started to develop products for sport.  

Our founder, Henry Dunker, had a huge interest in sports. Only 10 years after Tretorn was founded, we started producing canvas sneakers with a rubber sole, and after another two years we launched our first tennis balls. As the sneaker, the tennis ball became very popular and was distributed worldwide. We continued to work on existing products, to develop and improve. But we wanted to innovate, and in 1946 we succeeded in producing a special tennis ball made from rubber developed from dandelions. The ball was an experiment, but quickly became a true innovation. Barely a decade later we made our next big breakthrough, the pressureless tennis ball. A ball designed with bounce built into the rubber core, that didn’t lose pressure or bounce over time. It is only necessary to change the balls once the cover became worn. In 1960, short after we invented and patented the pressureless ball, we developed a ball with low compression. It was a softer ball that moved slower, which was advantageous for beginners, but also in favour to players in need of technique training.  

In 1977 Tretorn’s tennis ball was the official game ball when Guillermo Vilas played the final against Brian Gottfried in Roland Garros, the French Open. Approximately 80 years after the launch of the first tennis ball we invented a new and unique ball. It was the first pressureless tennis ball that could measure against pressurized balls. It was a true success that was sold in over 80 countries.  

The super star Björn Borg had been working with us at Tretorn for quite some time, but in 1985 he accompanied us officially as an advisor. He shared his tennis expertise to help us improve existing products, but also develop our assortment with new innovations. 

In the late 90’s Tretorn developed a micro cellular technology that was patented and recognized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as the pioneer in a new category of tennis balls called ‘micro cell’.  

We are very proud of our history and our heritage. There is no shortcut to success, and no replacement for hard work.  

Official sponsor 

A hundred years after the launch of our first tennis ball we launched pressurized tennis balls and became a sponsor for WTA (Women Professional Tennis Association).  

Tetorn signed an official ball partnership with selected tournaments on the WTA and ATP World Tour, including Hamburg, Stockholm, Umag, Zagreb and Båstad. 

Ten years later, it is time again! We are celebrating 120 years. This time we will be the official ball partner at Nordea Open in Sweden, Båstad on the WTA (4-9 July) and ATP (10-17 July).  

Canvas sneakers 

A fact not many know is that we are the second oldest sneaker producer in the world. On May 1, 1900, we produced our first sneaker with a rubber sole. It was a huge innovation and the beginning of a new era for Tretorn. The sneaker became a global phenomenon in 1930 and we established our brand on the market. Fast forward 25 years, and things started happening for us in the sports sector. We didn’t only produce the first pressureless tennis ball, but we also redesigned our shoe ’Tournament’ to become a shoe for the tennis court. Six years after this, in 1961, we launched the shoe ’Racket’. A shoe that was designed for professional court tennis. With its robust rubber toecap and the three-layer pimpled sole, it wouldn’t wear out even during the toughest play.  

In 1967 we launched Nylite, our first luxury tennis sneaker. It quickly became a favourite after super stars like Björn Borg and Martina Navratilova dominated the world’s stage. Swedish Björn Borg wore it both on and off the court and it became famous after being used at both Wimbledon and US-Open in the 70’s.