General Characteristics of USTA NTRP Playing Levels
1.0 Player is just starting to play tennis.
1.5 Player has limited experience and is working primarily on getting the ball in play.
2.0 Player lacks court experience and his/her strokes need developing. Player is familiar with the basic positions for singles and doubles play.
2.5 Player is learning to judge where the ball is going, although court coverage is limited. Player can sustain a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability.
3.0 Player is fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth or power. The most common doubles formation is one-up, one-back.
3.5 Player has achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but needs to develop depth and variety. Player exhibits more aggressive net play, improved court coverage and is developing teamwork in doubles.
4.0 Player has dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate-paced shots. Player can use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success and occasionally forces errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident.
4.5 Player has developed use of power and spin and can handle pace. Player has sound footwork, can control depth of shots and attempts to vary his/her game plan according to the opponent. Player can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. Player tends to over-hit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
5.0 Player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or attribute around which a game may be structured. Player can regularly hit winners or force errors off short balls and can put away volleys. Player can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys and overhead smashes, and has good depth and spin on most second serves.