Novak Djokovic hits a backhand at Indian Wells.

Tennis Ratings: UTR Rating vs. NTRP vs. WTN

Grassroots tennis throughout the world has seen a few tennis rating systems: the UTR Rating, the NTRP rating, and of late, the WTN.

What are these tennis rating systems, and how do the tennis rating systems compare? What’s the difference between UTR Rating v. NTRP (the USTA’s rating) v. WTN (the ITF’s rating)? And which is the best tennis rating?

In this article, UTR Sports dives into the above questions, specifically comparing UTR v. NTRP v. WTN. UTR Sports also explains which tennis rating will help you play more and have a better tennis experience, as well as which tennis rating is a must-have if you’re thinking about playing college tennis.

What is a tennis rating?

A tennis rating helps assess the level of singles players and doubles players to ensure high-quality and evenly-matched tennis matches. But not all tennis ratings use the same information or are calculated as often.

What is the UTR Rating? What does UTR Rating stand for?

The UTR Rating, formerly known as the Universal Tennis Rating, is a system created by UTR Sports that promotes fair and competitive play across the tennis world.

All players, regardless of age, gender, geography, or skill level are rated on the same scale between 1.00 and 16.50 based on actual match results.

Read & Watch: Frequently Asked Questions about UTR Rating

The system was created by tennis professionals who wanted to prevent lopsided matches, and UTR Sports now partners with the likes of Tennis Australia (which owns and operates the Australian Open), Team8 (the sports agency Roger Federer helped create), and 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.

“The UTR Rating is the best way to measure yourself against all other players regardless of their age or skill level,” Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic in action at the 2024 Australian Open.

What is the NTRP Rating, or USTA Rating?

The National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) was developed in 1978, according to the U.S. Tennis Association. The USTA explains that the rating program is a “classification system that identifies and describes general characteristics of tennis-playing ability.”

The USTA’s rating system goes from 1.5 (beginner) to 7.0 (touring professional), although, as the USTA explains, the system only “identifies general levels of ability.”

They further explain that, “For example, a 3.5 player can fall anywhere between a 3.01 and a 3.50. A typical match result for a player with a 3.01 rating versus a 3.49 player, both of whom are 3.5s, would be 6-0, 6-0 in favor of the higher rated player.”

What is the WTN?

The International Tennis Federation created the World Tennis Number in 2021, and the number is on a 40 (beginner) to 1 (professional) scale. The ITF says that the World Tennis Number algorithm “uses match results from 2016 onwards to calculate a player’s number.”

What are the differences between UTR Rating vs. NTRP vs. WTN?

The UTR Rating is calculated by an algorithm that uses your last 30 eligible matches in the past 12 months. The algorithm is updated daily to ensure the most accurate, world-class tennis rating system in the world. The rating pulls in results from multiple sources. In comparison, the WTN updates once per week, is reliant solely on results from federations, and factors in matches all the way from 2016.

The UTR Rating is extremely detailed, going to two decimal points in published ratings and rankings. For instance, Novak Djokovic’s UTR Rating after the 2024 Australian Open was 16.20, and Jannik Sinner has surpassed him with a 16.25 rating.

Read More: Top 10 Men’s Tennis Players by UTR Rating

The UTR Rating is for all players, regardless of age, gender, and geography, meaning that a 35-year-old male in Los Angeles, California, with a 5.05 UTR Rating, would have a competitive and balanced tennis match against a 55-year-old female from Barcelona, Spain, who also has a 5.05 UTR Rating.

One of the biggest ways UTR Rating separates itself from the other ratings is how interlinked it is with college tennis. The UTR Rating is a must-have for anyone wanting to play college tennis, as college coaches rely heavily upon a player’s UTR Rating in their recruitment decisions.

A TCU player hits a backhand at the 2023 NIT Championship.

“UTR Sports has revolutionized college tennis. We don’t talk about any player without talking about his UTR Rating,” said Ian Duvenhage, former head coach of men’s tennis at Vanderbilt University, a proud member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Since the UTR Rating is the gold standard, especially for college recruiting, high schools and high school athletic associations across the country depend upon the UTR Rating for their matches.

To date, more than 30 high school athletic associations have incorporated the UTR Rating into their programs.

“High school tennis administrators have long been searching for a way to utilize data to help organize tournaments and maintain integrity in the sport,” said Lindsay Atkinson, Director of Sports, National Federation of State High School Associations. “UTR Sports has really stepped up and become a leader as an organization that provides these analytics and has been universally adopted, from the amateur level up to the professional ranks.”

A young boy hits a backhand slice in San Diego.

What about UTR Rating v. USTA Rating (NTRP)?

While the UTR Rating displays as two decimals, the USTA Rating, or the NTRP, on the other hand, only provides a general mark of a player’s ability and can vary, depending on the gender and age of the player.

The NTRP Rating isn’t updated daily; instead, the USTA states that the rating is only published at the end of the year. The NTRP doesn’t cover all matches, including only adults playing in USTA League and/or USTA NTRP adult tournaments.

Juniors get a Junior NTRP rating through USTA Junior Team Tennis, and juniors and adults playing in USTA-sanctioned adult and junior tournaments get a USTA ranking/standing. The latter is formed based on a “Points Per Round Combined Ranking System” rather than solely on the merits of how you played against your opponent.

What matches count for UTR v. NTRP vs. WTN?

Tennis match results from across the world are imported regularly into the UTR Sports database, providing a breadth of results that inform the gold-standard UTR Rating.

You can view the current list of events that count towards players’ UTR Rating here.

For the USTA’s NTRP rating, the USTA states that NTRP Ratings are generated by play only in “USTA Adult Divisions of 18 & Over, 40 & Over, 55 & Over, 65 & Over, Mixed 18 & Over, Mixed 40 & Over and Mixed 55 & Over.”

For the World Tennis Number, which was launched in 2021, match results from 2016 are used for the player’s number and the rating system relies on federations for the results.

UTR v. NTRP v. WTN: Which is the best?

Now that we know how the ratings work, which is the best? Scientists have looked into this question.

In an April 2023 study titled in part, “Which global tennis rating better measures player skill?”, Duke University professors William J. Mayew and Rebecca L. Mayew studied whether the UTR Rating or the WTN would “better predict head-to-head match success.”

They analyzed 1,532 matches played by 870 boys and girls at the USTA’s 2022 Junior National Championships. The Duke professors found that the UTR Rating was 73.9% accurate and WTN was 70.4% accurate. They concluded “that UTR and WTN ratings are equivalent measures of player skill for the sample analyzed”.

Have more questions about how the UTR Rating compares to other tennis ratings?

Click on the links below to keep learning more about more about the UTR vs. NTRP vs. WTN:

What is UTR Rating & How Does It Work?

MyTennisHQ: What Are The Tennis Levels? (NTRP, UTR, ATP, ITF)

College Tennis Features a Range of UTR Ratings Tennis players playing tennis after upgrading to Power and saving money one events with UTR Sports
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