Tennis Levels: What Are The Tennis Levels? Explained By Pro

Tennis levels define the appropriate leagues for the players. Being a part of the big tournaments means competing with other professional players. They define the skill level of the athlete. It is not defined by age or gender.

In addition, sometimes levels are set by the officials. Each player has a level that tells his expertise in the sport.

There are mainly 4 levels (NTRP, UTR, ITF, and ATP) in tennis that are further divided into sub-categories making up a total of 7.

Here is the list of all usta tennis levels.

  1. 1.0 – 1.5: Newbie
  2. 2.0: Beginner
  3. 2.5: Beginner
  4. 3.0: Beginner to Intermediate
  5. 3.5: Intermediate
  6. 4.0: Intermediate to Advanced
  7. 4.5: Advanced

Tennis Levels Explained – Universal Tennis Ratings

Tennis Levels

Tennis ratings is another word for skill level. These tennis players’ levels rank according to their accomplishments and mastery of tennis.

Furthermore, the way a tennis player performs and makes shots and their way of playing decide the level he stands on. They are also known as tennis ability or playing levels.

Note: Please note that ALTA tennis levels may differ from the USTA. As the level changes, tennis rules may also differ.

1.0 – 1.5: Newbie

It shows that you are not experienced enough and working on your skills. The 1.0 to 1.5 stage is for the new ones who are just starting tennis. Moreover, the new players (or juniors) rank here as they are working further on their skills.

2.0: Beginner Player

This rank in tennis defines a beginner as having little to no experience playing on the court. You can get the ball in play while lacking control and making inconsistent rallies.

It means that you are familiar with the basics of playing singles and doubles and you know about the positioning.

Note: Junior tennis levels start from 2.0 and continue in 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, etc, and go up to 7.0 which is the highest level.

2.5: Beginner Player

2.5 tells that you are learning to judge the direction of the ball in the limited coverage of the court. You can play the rally shot with the same level of players as you.

Furthermore, it also shows that the person is learning the swings and the direction of the coming ball.

You find it difficult to return to the start point in doubles matches however, in singles, it is the opposite.

Delivering the first serve with the full force of motion while on the second serve you make an incomplete motion to make a steady serve.

3.0: Beginner to Intermediate Player

You are good at hitting medium-paced shots but are not consistent at hitting all strokes and making directional shots, lacking power.

Your most common doubles go like one-up and one-back. In addition, it means that he is not comfortable playing strokes and does not execute the shots with more power.

In addition, you can control the direction of moderate-paced serve in both singles and doubles matches.

You give complete motion on both serves and have more than 50% success on the first serve. While on the other hand, your second serve is much slower.

3.5: Intermediate Player

Your strokes are now improved with directional and moderate shots but you need to work on the depth and variety.

You show more aggressive shots near the net and know about the court coverage. Also, you are learning teamwork in doubles play.

Further, at this level, you can return hard shots consistently (more than 50%) and you know how to move your opponent around the court. The tennis player can direct forehand and backhand volleys.

Additionally, it is now easy to vary the speed and direction of the first serve and can hit the serve on the opponent’s weak point without causing a fault usually.

4.0: Intermediate to Advanced Player

You can make dependable strokes with directional control and depth on the forehand and backhand sides. In singles matches, you are good at the shots approaching the net.

Furthermore, you can make moderate-paced shots, lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys. You can make points by hitting reliable shots.

However, you often face errors while serving. Teamwork in doubles is good from your side and can vary the speed of the first serve.

4.5: Advanced Player

You have developed the power and spin ability and can handle the pace. You have good footwork and can handle varying shots according to your opponent.

In addition, you can hit a powerful serve and hit the second serve as well. Commonly, you overhit on difficult shots.

In your doubles matches, aggressive net play is common. Furthermore, you show inconsistency when returning an aggressive shot.

While playing close to the net you make the shots successfully but with less depth and pace. In addition, you are inconsistent when trying the volley or angled shots.

To summarize the above-mentioned details, here is the tennis level chart.

Tennis Levels Chart

Interesting Fact: Did you know tennis balls also have color levels that vary with the USTA? For example, the red ball is used for players under 6 years old, the orange ball for players between 6-8 years, the green ball for 8-10 years, and the yellow ball for players above 19 years.

How to find your Tennis Level?

The USTA goes with the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) to determine the players’ level.

This helps all of the tennis players to become a part of the matches according to their compatibility with their competitors.

Furthermore, it is a great way of classifying the skill level of the players with others for matches, tournaments, league lessons, and other programs.

However, it is simple to find your tennis level yourself. If you have been playing tennis for a while then you don’t stand on 1.0 or 1.5. It is for beginners.

If you can hit the ball over the net and engage rally but you need to work on the point execution. In addition, if you can’t control the direction of the shots then you would rank a 2.0 or 2.5.

You can rank yourself 3.0 if you consistently play in a rally but you need to work on your points of execution. And if you can set points while lacking depth then you are on 3.5.

Furthermore, if your depth, direction, rally, and control of the ball are perfect, it is 4.0 for you. Move to 4.5 if you can get your points off of your first serve and hit with power, spin, and pace.

Place your level at 5.0 to 5.5 if you play with a variety of shots, consistency, and precision. If you play in national and international matches then you stand on 6.0.

Moreover, if you are a professional tennis player then you would know you are at 6.5 or higher.

How to Improve Your Tennis Level?

It is important to improve your tennis level as a progressive player. This will develop your skills and build you as a polished professional.

This is how you can improve your playing level.

  • Stick with one way of playing. Practice the techniques mostly that you think will work more. Do not try to be creative.
  • Serve the ball with 100% velocity and make it powerful since it is the most crucial shot of the game.
  • Keep your body weight on the behind leg. This way it will become easier to shift the force to the ball while hitting it.
  • Adjust your momentum. If you get 2 points in a row it means that you have good enough momentum.
  • To win the game you have to keep yourself hydrated and energized. Drink water on every changeover and have snacks.
  • Look for your opponent’s weaknesses and hit them. Take your time during the warmup and notice every weak point about your competitor.
Note: Tennis levels and ranking systems are different things, please do not confuse them.


The tennis levels help classify the skill level of a tennis player. It is a good way to know on which level you stand. Furthermore, by learning about your rank you can improve your skills in tennis.

The ITF uses the NTRP program to define the playing level of each player so that they can participate in the league programs and tournaments etc. I hope that after reading this detailed guide you can know about your tennis level and improve it better.

For your convenience, here is the list of tennis skill levels again.

  1. 1.0 – 1.5: Newbie
  2. 2.0: Beginner
  3. 2.5: Beginner
  4. 3.0: Beginner to Intermediate
  5. 3.5: Intermediate
  6. 4.0: Intermediate to Advanced
  7. 4.5: Advanced

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What are the levels of tennis?

The four levels of tennis are NTRP, UTR, ITF, and ATP ( amateur, professional, grand slam, and championship). However, there is a fifth level which is the World Championship Tennis (WCT) which only features nine tournaments.

Q) How to rate tennis levels?

On a scale of 1 to 10, tennis levels are rated from 1 to 10 (each number correlating to the amount of effort that needs to be put in) with the following factors in mind:

  • The speed and variety of your game.
  • The level of strategy.
  • The intensity, or the amount of power you use when playing tennis.
  • Raw physical ability and strength.

Q) What do tennis levels mean?

Tennis levels are the measure of how well a tennis player has been performing in recent matches. The four tiers consist of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced with different rankings associated with each level.

When a player enters an official tournament they must provide their level on the entry form to show that they can be safely paired with players of their own level.

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