Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)

What is UTR (Universal Tennis Rating)?

UTR is the primary recruiting resource for College Tennis coaches. The first question a college coach asks of a prospective recruit is “What’s their UTR?” Universal Tennis Ratings provide tennis players worldwide a common scale to determine their level of play. The 16-level scale (from beginners to elite world-class professionals), precisely and reliably determines individual players’ ratings based on actual match results without regard for age, gender or where the matches are played. If you want to play college tennis, you need to maximize your UTR rating.


What is a Staggered Entry format?

A Staggered Entry format consists of a number of separate draws that feed into higher level draws. A kind of qualifying draw, Staggered Entry draws feed the top performers of a lower level draw into the next higher level draw. In this tournament, the top 12 UTR entrants will receive direct entry into the weekend September 28-29 highest level 16 player draw. The next 12 top rated UTR entrants will play in the 16 player Friday draw, with the top 4 qualifying for the weekend draw. The next 12 UTR entrants will play in the 16 player Thursday draw, with the top 4 qualifying for play in Friday’s event, and so forth. From another view, the top 4 players playing on Monday qualify for Tuesday; the top 4 for Tuesday qualify for Wednesday; the top 4 on Wednesday qualify for Thursday; the top 4 for Thursday qualify for Friday; and the top 4 from Friday’s play qualify for the full draw of 16 tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Note: The tournament reserves the right to utilize its discretion to form separate draws if a large number of entrants enter or if players of significant disparate abilities enter, e.g. beginners as opposed to experienced higher rated competitors.

The Universal Tennis 16-Level Chart

Worldwide tennis, in a single image

This chart displays the 16-level scale of Universal Tennis Ratings(UTR), the most accurate and reliable system for rating tennis skill, worldwide. The 16 numbered circles on the graph represent the 16 levels of tennis competence that UTR distinguishes. UTR’s algorithm rates actual players to two decimal places (e.g., 10.49), but the chart displays only the whole numbers that anchor the scale.

The chart curves upward to represent increasing degrees of skill in tennis. It begins at the far left with three “beginner” categories(Red, Orange, and Green ball), learning levels not included in the formal rating system. The Red, Orange, and Green designations correspond to the colors of dots on special beginner balls.

The actual UTRs start at 1.00 with beginning players and progress through the integers to 16, the ratings for top male athletes on the ATP Tour. We have divided the scale into four developmental stages, each stage embracing four UTR levels.

Stage 1 (levels 1-4, green)correspond to the earlier stages of the road to mastery in tennis. They represent a progression of competence through the basics of the game.

Stage 2 (levels 5-8, blue)represent progressively higher levels of junior and adult “intermediate” play. It includes ITF and USTA junior tournaments, as well as adult competition in various formats around the world.

Stage 3 (levels 9-12, purple)represent the ratings of athletes experienced in advanced competitive play. At levels 9 and 10 we find male and female players who could compete successfully in many college programs, at the NCAA Division III level and above, along with top LTA 18 girls.

At Level 11, look for highly ranked NCAA Division I college women and world-class girls having success on the ITF Circuit, along with top Tennis Europe 14 boys and Tennis Europe 16 girls.

Level 12 includes athletes who are valuable in most ITA college programs, as well as women pros achieving success in the WTA. Highly ranked USTA Sectional boys also appear here, as well as top Tennis Europe 16 boys and LTA 18 boys.

Stage 4 (levels 13-16, magenta)corresponds to the highest competitive levels. Level 13 players include top-ranked WTA women who make their living playing tennis and often win professional events. High-level national and sectional USTA boys also show up at Level 13.

Level 14 includes junior boys with world-class success in ITF events, and the upper levels of ITA college men playing NCAA Division I tennis.

At Level 15, we find men competing on the ATP Challenger Circuit, and at Level 16, the top ATP players, who earn their livings playing professional ball.