UTR & USTA Ranking Systems

UTR & USTA Ranking Systems

In this blog we will review the UTR and USTA ranking system.

Universal Tennis Rating (UTR), & United States Tennis Association (USTA) Ranking Guide



What is Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)?

Universal Tennis Rating or UTR for short is one of the newest and most popular tennis global rating system. UTR algorithm calculates the level of a player based on competition (strength of opponent), score (based on games won), and history (last 30 matches within 12 months). This global rating system that UTR has created is the best way for a tennis player to achieve fair and competitive play with someone of the same level. The universal tennis rating system (UTR) is used by every player in the tennis world, even college players and professional players. All players regardless of age, gender, or skill level are all rated on the same scale between 1 and 16.50 based on the matches played results. The UTR is used by every professional tennis player in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).


What Is My UTR? How Is My UTR Calculated?

A player's UTR is calculated by an algorithm using the match scores from a player's last 30 eligible matches in the last 12 months. The algorithm computes a tennis player match rating and match weight, the UTR is the weighted average of all the match ratings. It is a constantly changing number since it is just based on the last 30 matches which promotes fair matches because your number goes up or down based on how you are performing.

What Is the Benefit of UTR?

The benefit of UTR is that it provides a real-time view of a player’s true skill level. Your UTR is based on your last 30 matches so it is always constantly changing. This allows a tennis player to find players with a similar skill level as their own which provides for fair and competitive play. 

Another benefit is that once you have a UTR you are easily able to expand your tennis network. It will be easy to meet people with a similar UTR rating as yours and play with people of different ages and genders. Having a UTR is also a great tool to track your progress. Another benefit is the fact that men and women are on the same scale. Having both genders on the same scale would allow you to compare professional men and women we see on the tennis network against each other. 

Having a UTR rating will be beneficial as well because there are specific UTR tournaments and you need a UTR rating to enter those tournaments.


How To Improve Your UTR?

Compete Well- Sounds obvious, we know. But you can improve your UTR by winning more games than expected. Having more games won than expected can raise Your UTR number even if you don't win the match. This is the best way to improve your UTR. 

Play Often- Since your UTR is a weighted average of your match rating and match weight the more matches you play the quicker your UTR will reflect how you are currently competing. 

Be Patient- UTR is a rolling weighted average, sometimes the effects of new results of competitive matches played might take a while to update and reflect the recent outcome. 

Practice- Like anything practice makes perfect. Get out there and find a coach, hit with friends, hit the gym, and do whatever you can to improve your skill level. As you get better that UTR rating will reflect that.


What is United States Tennis Association (USTA)?

The USTA was started in 1881. It is the national governing body for tennis in the United States and prides itself on the development and promotion of the sport.


What is a USTA Rating?

USTA uses National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) to assess the capability and skill of tennis players. NTRP was developed in the '70s by USTA when tennis was becoming more popular in the United States. It is now used to define a tennis player's skill level and distinguish them between beginner, intermediate, and advanced. 

How Is USTA Ranking Measured?

Throughout the whole season, USTA keeps track of every player. It keeps track of the tournaments participated in, the scores, their opponents, and at the end of the year generates the player's ranking.

The NTRP system uses a 7-point scale to assess a player's skill level. Each rating will tell about the tennis skill level you are at and what you need to do to move up a level.


What is Better... UTR or USTA?

USTA is the OG, it's been around so long and for the longest time was the only way we could rank ourselves and competitive players. However, with the changes in the ranking systems, it's clear that USTA is outdated and not an accurate measurement of your skill level. The UTR system has completely changed the game.

UTR will give you a more precise ranking than NTRP. Players will be able to know more about their skill level using UTR as well and the skill level based on their opponent's rating. UTR is overall a way better competitive rating system than NTRP.

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