[Tennis Terms] USTA Tennis Ranking System

Last updated on October 14th, 2022

The USTA rankings are calculated based on the player ability. The players are awarded with points when they win matches. Considering their winning rate and their ratings the USTA ranks the players. The ratings are awarded between 2 and 7. The ratings are calculated based on the player skills like hitting the ball, moving around the court, etc. The USTA ranking builds competitive spirit among the players. 

What is USTA? 

USTA is the United States Tennis Association. It is a national governing body. The USTA govern the sport of tennis. The body is considered as the leader in developing the sport. The USTA Tennis ranking system represents the playing ability. The article explains everything about USTA Tennis Ranking system in detail.  

What is USTA Tennis Ranking? 

Based on the player ability, the USTA allocates points to each player. The points are allocated considering several factors. This includes the playing abilities like hitting the ball, moving around the court while playing, winning games, tournaments the player plays, etc. For instance, a beginner hits the ball rarely and therefore he is given points between 3 and 4. Also, the points are allocated based on the physical ability of the person.  

The points are also provided based on the winning ability of a person. For instance, if a player wins a regional game in first place, he is given 5 points. If a player wins in second place in the same game, then he is given 3 points and so on. The points differ for differ games.  

The national level games higher weightage over the regional level. Meaning the points allocated to the players winning the national level games is higher than the regional level.  

The players are first rated before giving the ranks.  

Here is the USTA ratings breakdown: 


The USTA provides this rating to beginners. These players do not hit the ball over the net at least five out of ten times. They are believed to have serious physical issues. It is essential to handle these players with care. They need physical assistance while playing. You need to treat them kindly with compassion. Do not indulge in arguments with them for their misinterpretations. Also, do not criticize these players for their playing abilities. 


The players with the rating of 2.5 are just starting to hit the ball. They need regular lessons. With some regular practices they start hitting the ball over the net.  

The players rated 2 and 2.5 are usually recreational players. Though they play matches, they are not serious about it. They play for fun and enjoyment.  


The players with rating 3 are also beginners. They just started taking tennis lessons. These players do not hit the ball consistently. However, they are eager to learn. They ask for tricks and tactics to hit the ball correctly. With little practice and consistency they start playing better. Their hitting rates increases.  


The players with rating 3.5 hit the ball consistently. However, their strokes are not very good. They are in the beginning level. The strokes of these players are neither effective nor logical. The players with rating 3.5 need regular lessons. With consistent practice, they can increase their skills. 


The players with rating 4 played high school tennis. Most of the players belong to this category. Their skills are good but not professional. Their hitting rate is high. Also, these players have matching apparel! They come with the latest racquet in the market. They seek to achieve stardom. However, USTA considers only their skills to rate them. 


The players with this rating played high school tennis. However, they did not continue to play the sport in their college. They know a very few tricks and tactics. They claim to have played in few popular tournaments. However, their skills are weak and need practice. With a few practice lessons they get back their skills. They need consistent practice to comprehend their weakness. 


These players played Low-level DI tennis. They dedicated their life to the game but did not get any reward. These players know many techniques. However, they are not able to implement them at the right point of time. They require smart training. With little practice sessions, they easily learn the tricks of the game.  


The players with a rating of 5.5 are decent players. They are wonderful players with great skills. However, they are not elite. They are very good at the sport. But they lack natural ability.  

The strikes of these players are not natural but learned. They developed their skills with rigorous practice. Some others are born with the skills and flexibility. This separates the players with the rating 5.5 from becoming great. Most of these players prefer alone times. 


The tennis players with rating 6 are high-level players. They carry great skills. They hit the ball too well and move around the court very well. They wish to become a professional. Also, they hold all the skills to become a professional. They are capable of playing the sport competitively. Also, they can play for longer time. These players wish to play the game till they grow old and become slow. Their ratings drop only with age and not because of their skills.  


These players are well aware about their strengths and weaknesses. They know what is right for them. Their margins are slim. However, they are not as good as the top professional players making good money. However, they play professionally.  


The players with the rating 7 are those players who travel all over the world to make money. They are players with legitimate ATP rankings. 

How are ranking points assisgned? 

The ranking points are assigned based on the players’ game starting from Level 1 to Level 7.  

The player earns points to every game he wins. There are seven levels starting from level 1 to earn ranking. For levels 1 to 5, the points increase for every match the player wins. For the levels 6 and 7, the points increase for each match. However, this continues till he wins four consequent matches.  

Significance of USTA Tennis Ranking System 

  • The system encourages the players to play more games. Also, it increases the competitive spirit among the players.  
  • The system is very simple and therefore, the players can calculate their own ranking. It is very simple. If the player wins matches he gains points.  
  • The USTA system is transparent. There is no magic or genie in the background to calculate the points. Anyone can add the points they earned using paper and pencil. The more the player earns the higher he progresses in his or her ranking. 

The ranking points are generally based on the aggregate of the points earned in the last 52 weeks. The results of the ranking system are public.  

Are there any bonus points in the system? 

Yes. There are bonus points attached to the system. The bonus points are provided during wins in tournaments with more than 500 players.  

How to check my USTA Tennis Ranking? 

Log in to USTA account. You will see user icon on the top right corner. Click on the icon. The site will take you to the player profile page. On this page, click on results. You will see your rank in this page. Apart from your rank, the page will also show the points earned, match results, etc. 

What should I do if my points calculated are incorrect? 

The USTA provides a form to correct your points if they are calculated wrong. The form can be submitted online.  

What are the eligibility criteria to receive USTA rankings? 

The players demanding for USTA rankings should have the following requirements: 

  • Permanent resident aliens 
  • Foreigners with Asylee status 
  • Foreigners with Refugee status 
  • Foreigners with temporary protected status 
  • Canadian immigrants and Canadian citizens 

What are the National Standing List published by USTA? 

These lists are used for player selection. These lists are published once a week. Standing list is the list of eligible or qualified players for a tournament. 

Rules and regulations of the ranking system 

  • The players are not awarded with points till they win a round 
  • The byes in the matches are not counted as wins 
  • A player shall receive points when his or her opponent is disqualified 

What is PPR in USTA Ranking system? How is PPR calculated? 

PPR is Points Per Round. It is a mathematical calculation used to determine a player’s rank. PPR is calculated based on the points earned in six of the best single tournaments. It also includes 15% of the points earned during six of the best doubles tournaments, and total ranking points. 

What is Sectional Ranking? 

The sectional rankings are derived from Level 3 to Level 7.  

What are ranking levels? 

There are seven ranking levels. The level starts from level 1 to level 7. The points earned by the player are determined by the level. Higher the level, greater the difficulty and therefore higher are the points. Every tournament is assigned with a ranking level. 

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