Of all the descriptions of the levels of tennis from «A, B and C» to «beginner, intermediate, advanced» — the best system was developed by the American Tennis Association (USTA) in 1979.
The USTA determines the levels of players on a scale from 1.0 to 7.0 in its National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP).
An abbreviated version of the rating:
1.0 The tennis player is just starting to play tennis.
1.5 The player has little experience, improves the stability of strokes in the game.
2.0 The player has noticeable drawbacks when performing basic strokes. Has a shortened swing, cannot choose the direction of impact. Often a tennis player of this level practically does not use a backhand, holds a racket incorrectly in his hand. As a rule, the grid plays extremely reluctantly.
2.5 The player tries to anticipate the direction of the ball’s flight, but the sense of the court is still poorly developed. In addition, there are some problems with the grip of the racket, the approach to the ball, prefers to run under the forehand. Still has difficulty playing at the net. Can keep the game at a low pace with partners of his level.
3.0 A tennis player is already good at hitting medium-tempo balls, but he cannot always control the strength, direction and depth of his strokes. Forehands work best. Tries to strengthen the feed, which leads to errors when performing it. The second serve is usually much weaker than the first. The grid has difficulty with low circling strokes. Knows how to perform well simple and medium complexity candles.
3.5 A tennis player can control the direction of medium-difficulty strokes, although he lacks a little control of depth and variety, vision and feeling of the court improves. The player is able to perform weak directional backhands, but powerful punches and high bounces still need to be refined. When feeding, there is sufficient force and control. He plays more actively at the net, gets some circling strokes. Consistently performs a smash on light balls.
4.0 The player can perform a variety of punches, is able to control the depth and direction of the blow, both from the right and from the left. It has in its arsenal a candle, a smash, blows from the summer and powerful knockout blows. The first serve is performed strongly, sometimes to the detriment of accuracy. Has experience in using team tactics when playing in pairs.
4.5 Very diverse ball strikes, effectively uses the force and rotation of the ball. He attacks powerfully from the left, while making mistakes only under pressure. The player competently uses force and spin when hitting, knows how to control the pace of the game, works well with his feet, controls the depth of his punches and is able to change tactics in the game depending on the opponent. The tennis player has a strong and accurate first serve, consistently performs the second, is able to attack near the net.
5.0 The player feels the ball perfectly and can often perform special strokes on which the game is based. The athlete is able to win points, ‘kill’ balls from the summer, can force the opponent to make mistakes with shortened balls, successfully applies candles, smashes, half-volley strikes, and performs the second serve deep and with a strong upper rotation.
5.5 The main weapon of a tennis player in the game are powerful strikes and stability. Depending on the situation, the athlete is able to change the strategy and technique of the game, can perform reliable strikes in difficult moments.
6.0 A tennis player of this level has good qualifications and does not need an NTRP classification. Usually athletes with a rating of 6.0 participate in national competitions among juniors and have a national rating.
6.5 A tennis player of the 6.5 level is close to 7.0 in playing skills and has experience of participating in satellite tournaments.
7.0 A world-class athlete who takes part in various international tennis tournaments. The main source of income for a top-level player is cash prizes awarded at competitions.