Woman hitting tennis ball on a clay court

Understanding the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP): Tennis Player Ratings Explained

The National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) is a classification system used by the USTA to categorize tennis players according to their skill levels for determining the levels of competition. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, knowing your NTRP rating can help you find compatible opponents and improve your game. Your rating can make it easier to find appropriate group lessons, leagues to play in, and tournaments to enter. It may even help you pick the right tennis racquet to match your skills since most manufacturers indicate the NTRP level the racquet is designed for. 

Tennis player serving the ball

What is the NTRP?

The NTRP system ranges from 1.0 (beginner) to 7.0 (world-class payer). These ratings assess a player’s skill level based on criteria such as stroke ability, strategic ability, and physical capabilities.

Players must rate themselves by reading the descriptions of the categories and then deciding which one best describes their present ability level. The rating is not permanent and may be adjusted as skills change or as match play in USTA tournaments demonstrates the need for reclassification.

NTRP Player Rating Scale


This player is just starting to play tennis.


This player has had limited experience with stroke development and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play. This player is not yet ready to compete.


This player needs on-court experience, with an emphasis on play. This player struggles to find an appropriate contact point, needs stroke development/lessons and is not yet familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles.


This player is learning to judge where the oncoming ball is going and how much swing is needed to return it consistently. Movement to the ball and

recovery is often not efficient. Can sustain a backcourt rally of slow pace with other players of similar ability and is beginning to develop strokes.

This player is becoming more familiar with the basic positions for singles and doubles, and is ready to play social matches, leagues and low-level



This player is fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks accuracy when trying for

directional control, depth, pace or altering distance of shots. Most common doubles formation is one up, one back.


This player has achieved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but still lacks depth, variety and the ability to alter

distance of shots. The effective use of lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys is limited. This player is more comfortable at the net, has

improved court awareness, and is developing teamwork in doubles.


This player has dependable strokes with directional control and the ability to alter depth of shots on both forehand and backhand sides during

moderately paced play. This player also has the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys with success. This player occasionally

forces errors when serving. Points may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident.


This player can vary the use of pace and spins, has effective court coverage, can control depth of shots, and is able to develop game plans according

to strengths and weaknesses. This player can hit the first serve with power and accuracy and can place the second serve. This player tends to overhit

on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles.


This player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or attribute around which his or her game can be structured. This

player can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and puts away volleys. He or she can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half

volleys, overheads, and has good depth and spin on most second serves.


This player has developed pace and/or consistency as a major weapon. This player can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive situations and

hit dependable shots in stress situations.


This player has had intensive training for national tournaments or top level collegiate competition, and has obtained a national ranking.


This player has had extensive satellite tournament experience.


This player is a world-class player who is committed to tournament competition on the international level and whose major source of income is tournament prize winnings.


If you need some help determining your rating, you can answer some questions on this survey to find out your rating. 

The NTRP system is an important tool in the tennis community across the US. Whether you’re playing for fun or aiming to compete seriously, understanding your NTRP rating can help you find the right tennis partners, opponents, tournaments, and even racquets. Your tennis rating will likely evolve over time, but knowing where you’re at today can get you on your way to enjoying the game for years to come.

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