The 5 Best Tennis Rackets For Doubles

The 5 Best Tennis Rackets For Doubles

Recent Articles

The Top 5 Best Babolat Tennis Rackets For Power

The Top 5 Best Babolat Rackets for Power

Many of us keen players like to think that, if our racket could just give us a few per cent more power with our groundstrokes and serve, we would play much more effectively. Equally, older beginners may not have the technique or physical capacity to create high levels of racket head speed, so they too may want a racket which gives them as much power as possible.

A powerful racket will generally have a large head and a relatively low swing weight. Its frame will be stiff, and it will tend to have a more open stringing pattern, to enable the strings to stretch and rebound. Babolat rackets are very popular among players who like to hit powerful shots from the baseline, so in this article we will consider the best Babolat rackets for power.

The best Babolat rackets that give power to beginners are the Babolat Pure Drive 107 2021 and the Babolat Evo Drive 115 Wimbledon. When it comes to more advanced players, the most powerful Babolats are the Babolat Pure Drive 2021, the Babolat Pure Strike 18×20, and the Babolat Pure Aero.

#1 For Beginners: Babolat Pure Drive 107 2021

The Pure Drive 107 offers a large 107 square-inch head which allows more forgiveness of off-centre contacts. It has an open 16×19 stringing pattern and a head-light balance. Whilst not the stiffest frame, Babolat still measure the Pure Drive 107 as being stiffer than average with a rating of 69, which allows it to provide a good level of power. The Pure Drive 107 can offer power without requiring extremely high racket head speed, and the large head reduces mishits. On the downside, it lacks the manoeuvrability of an advanced player’s racket, and is not designed for control. Reviewers normally find it enjoyable to play with, despite the occasional loss of control. 

If you have a fairly short, compact swing, and would like some extra power, the Pure Drive 107 is certainly worth considering.

#2 For Beginners: Babolat EVO Drive 115 Wimbledon

If you feel that you would like something more extreme than the Pure Drive 107, why not try the EVO Drive 115 Wimbledon? With its even larger 115 square-inch head and very open 16×17 string pattern, the EVO Drive 115 is definitely built for power. It has a head-light balance, a weight of just 240g, and a Babolat stiffness rating of 68, very similar to that of the Pure Drive 107. It is even 0.6” longer than a standard racket to give added leverage when serving. This combination of characteristics means that you should have no problem hitting the ball hard with the EVO Drive 115, but controlling it might be tougher, especially as such a large head will be less easy to manoeuvre than a smaller one. Nonetheless, its light weight should partially compensate for this.

If you lack strength and racket head speed, and are looking for a major power boost, the EVO Drive 115 may be exactly what you need.

#1 For Frequent Players: Babolat Pure Drive 2021

Intermediate or advanced players can generate more racket head speed, and prefer the maneuverability of a more modest head size than that of the two rackets reviewed above. Babolat’s top offering for them is the Pure Drive. The Pure Drive features a 100 square-inch head size, a 16×19 string pattern, a fairly high stiffness rating of 71, and an unstrung weight of 318g, along with a head-light balance.

Virtually all reviewers remark upon the easy access to power it provides, and note that if you have the technique you can also generate a lot of spin. On the negative side, some observe that the sweetspot is not as large as they would like, the racket can feel a little stiff, and it is sometimes possible to lose control. Nonetheless, overall, the racket is well liked by players.

If you are an advanced player with fairly high racket head speed, and you want a power-oriented racket, the Pure Drive 2021 simply has to be on your shortlist. 

#2 For Frequent Players: Babolat Pure Strike 18×20

The Pure Strike 18×20 boasts a 98 square-inch head size, and weighs in at 323g. It has a stiffness rating of 66, putting it closer to the middle of the range than some of the other rackets reviewed here, and combines a head-light balance with an 18×20 string pattern. Reviewers who generate high levels of racket head speed often like this racket, as it provides plenty of power in conjunction with good levels of control. The relatively dense string pattern and smaller head help players to reduce inaccuracy. The swing weight of the racket probably makes it more suitable for physically stronger players: some female players have suggested that the Pure Strike 18×20 feels a little underpowered.

If you are strong enough to generate good racket head speed with a racket of this weight, the Pure Strike 18×20 is definitely worth testing.

#3 For Frequent Players: Babolat Pure Aero

The Pure Aero is designed to offer maximum spin potential, combined with plenty of power, for advanced players. Weighing 300g unstrung, with a 100 square-inch head, the specifications of the Pure Aero are not too different from those of the Pure Drive. The Pure Aero has a similarly open 16×19 string pattern, but combines a slightly lighter weight with a more flexible frame, measuring 66 on Babolat’s stiffness scale. Reviewers generally agree that the Pure Aero offers excellent levels of spin and power, although some question its stability.

If you crave power, but love hitting heavily spun shots, the Pure Aero may be the perfect weapon for you. You will certainly want to add it to your demo list.

Final Thoughts

Babolat offer a great range of power rackets. Whether you are a beginner or a tournament player, there are options to suit you. Why not test some today?

The Top 5 Best Babolat Rackets For Spin

Top 5 Best Babolat Rackets for Spin

If you want to hit a tennis ball with a lot of topspin, there are several racket characteristics that can help. A lower swing weight, normally found in a head-light racket, helps you to generate the necessary racket head speed. A fairly open string pattern allows the strings to move, enabling them to grip the ball and impart spin.

In addition, a well-chosen string at a moderate tension will assist. Babolat rackets are extremely popular among professionals and keen amateur players, so in this article, we will look at which of their rackets are best for spin.

Babolat makes 5 tennis rackets that are widely considered to produce plenty of spin on shots: the Babolat Pure Aero, the Babolat Pure Drive, and the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19, moving on to a lighter option, the Babolat Pure Aero Team, and finally to the more control-oriented Babolat Pure Drive VS.

1) Babolat Pure Aero

With its striking yellow and black color scheme and an endorsement from the legendary Rafael Nadal, the Babolat Pure Aero will be the first choice for many players who want to apply a lot of spin. With a head-light balance and an open 16×19 string pattern, the Pure Aero ticks the most important boxes for imparting spin. Reflecting this, reviewers generally remark on the ease with which they can generate spin with this racket. This is hardly surprising given Rafa’s endorsement, as he uses more spin than almost any other player.

The Pure Aero is regarded as a fairly powerful racket, and is just as good for putting spin on your serve as it is for your groundstrokes. More recent versions also offer improved stability, so if you enjoy hitting the ball with plenty of spin, the Pure Aero is definitely worth a try.

2) Babolat Pure Drive

The Pure Drive is renowned as a powerful racket, and offers a 100-square-inch head to enhance forgiveness of off-center strikes. With the same head-light balance and 16×19 string pattern as the Pure Aero, it has all the necessary attributes to help you generate plenty of spin. With the Pure Drive, most reviewers are immediately struck by the power they can produce, but this actually forces them to hit with spin in order to keep the ball in the court. This applies equally to serves and groundstrokes.

The Pure Drive feels more powerful than the Pure Aero to most users, which will not be to everyone’s taste, but certainly has the potential to generate a lot of spin.

3) Babolat Pure Strike 16×19

If the Pure Aero is the ultimate spin racket, and the Pure Drive is the power option, the Pure Strike 16×19 is the model which tries to combine the best of both worlds. With a slightly smaller 98-inch head in comparison to the Pure Drive, and a similar head-light balance, the Pure Strike offers plenty of maneuverability and the potential to generate substantial racket-head speed. The open string pattern ensures that this speed can produce high levels of spin.

If you can produce high levels of racket-head speed, the Pure Strike 16×19 will offer a combination of power, spin, and control. It should certainly be included in your shortlist.

4) Lighter Option: Babolat Pure Aero Team

As its name suggests, the Pure Aero Team is similar in many ways to the Pure Aero, having the same 100 square inch head size, head-light balance, and 16×19 string pattern. Importantly, however, its swing weight is around 4-5% lighter than that of the Pure Aero, which should make it even easier to produce substantial racket head speed. The downside of this reduction in weight is a loss of some of the stability of the Pure Aero.

The Pure Aero Team is aimed primarily at intermediate players and older juniors who may lack the strength to generate high levels of racket head speed and spin with the Pure Aero. If this sounds like you, it is certainly worth considering.

5) Increased Control: Babolat Pure Drive VS

The Pure Drive VS has a 98 square inch head, compared to the 100 square inches of the Pure Drive. It retains the same balance and open stringing pattern, so it should still allow you to generate a lot of power and spin. The smaller head enhances maneuverability and control, which may be a significant benefit for some players, given the power produced by the standard Pure Drive. The Pure Drive VS is slightly lighter than the Pure Drive and offers a thinner beam, which some users feel affects its stability.

If you are considering the Pure Drive, it would certainly be worth trying the Pure Drive VS too, in order to see if the combination of power and control it offers is right for you. It will still allow you to produce ample spin.

Final Thoughts

Any of the five rackets mentioned here will help you to generate spin, especially in conjunction with the right string and a fairly low tension. The Pure Aero is the classic spin-oriented racket, endorsed by Nadal, but if you need something lighter, the Pure Aero Team may be the answer. The rackets in the Pure Drive family are a little more powerful, and if this is what you want you should certainly try these, as they are certainly not short of spin potential. Finally, the Pure Strike 16×19 offers a compromise between the strengths of the other two types of racket, so it may be ideal for some. Get some demo rackets now and see what you think.

 What Workouts Do Tennis Players Do?

What Workouts Do Tennis Players Do?

When played at a high level, tennis is an extremely physically demanding sport. Players hit the ball hard, repeatedly, and need to be able to move rapidly about the court in all directions, jumping and sliding as necessary.

Trying to play at this level for any length of time without an extensive physical training program would inevitably result in all kinds of injuries, so anyone with aspirations of playing at a high standard must work out thoroughly and frequently. So, what kind of workouts might a serious tennis player need to incorporate into their routine?

Given that tennis is a complex sports, tennis players do different types of workouts that include weightlifting, stamina workouts, agility workouts, and flexibility workouts. These workouts strengthen and improve different muscles, allowing the player to improve in different physical aspects of the game.


Periodization of training is important in tennis, and particularly with weight-training, due to the demands of playing matches. There will be three main phases: a pre-season phase for building strength; a phase for the end of pre-season and the beginning of the season when power is the focus, and finally an in-season phase where the player seeks to maintain strength and power.

During the pre-season phase, strength will be developed through exercises like rows, squats, pushdowns and deadlifts, carried out 2-3 times per week with moderately heavy weights.

In late pre-season and the early season, power, which is a combination of strength and speed, will be developed through a range of exercises involving rapid movement of weights, carried out twice weekly. Medicine balls are particularly useful during this phase.

During the season, players are likely to alternate between strength and power training for up to two sessions per week, with a rest week approximately every month.

Stamina Workouts

Stamina is a key requirement in tennis, especially for slower court surfaces like clay. An endurance training block prior to the start of the season will be needed to make significant gains.

Running is highly recommended as a means of building tennis endurance, as it is fundamental to the game. Steady running for 30-60 minutes, around 4 times per week, is a great way to improve stamina. In a training block, this can be combined with a couple of intensive, 20-30 minute running sessions per week. This will improve the player’s stamina and capacity to push themselves during a match. A weekly 30-60 minute steady run should be included during the season to maintain these gains. It is also possible to enhance stamina through tennis drills or playing other sports.

Agility Workouts

Agility is crucial for winning points where twisting and turning are required, as well as for preventing injuries. There are many agility drills, some of which are designed to be carried out on court and others elsewhere.

Some of the more popular ones involve placing balls or cones on the court, and asking a player to pick them up as quickly as possible, returning to the starting point between each pick-up. These drills can be timed to enable players to challenge themselves. There are also useful drills which involve rapidly returning a series of balls fed to you by a partner. Off-court exercises might include shuttle-sprints, backpedalling, and a wide variety of other tennis-relevant step types. In all cases, the key is to aim for speed, accuracy and controlled movements.

Flexibility Workouts

Flexibility is important for reaching awkward low balls or stretching for wide ones. The two most commonly used types of exercise to enhance flexibility are static and dynamic stretches.

Static stretching increases muscle flexibility and range of motion, and is generally recommended to be performed twice daily, possibly after training and in the evening. The basic method is to stretch a muscle to the point where slight discomfort is felt, then hold for 20-30 seconds. As you hold, you should be able to gradually extend the stretch a little. Static stretching is regarded as good for body in general, but its benefits for the type of movements performed in tennis are unproven. In particular, it should not be performed in the 60 minutes prior to competing, as it has been found to impair speed and power for that period.

Dynamic stretching involves swinging arms and legs, or twisting the torso, until the limit of the range of motion is reached. It has benefits for dynamic flexibility, and is recommended as an important part of a pre-match warm-up. Dynamic stretching increases muscle temperature and improves blood flow. It is normally done in sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, although there is no need to go on if you have reached the maximum range of motion of a specific joint.

What Muscles Does Playing Tennis Work?

The answer to this is: ‘A surprising number!’. We can split the relevant muscles into three groups.

The muscles of a player’s lower body are in many ways the most important for tennis. The power for many shots emanates from the legs, and players are constantly running and jumping to get in position to hit the ball. Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves are all used almost continually.

The core, or lower back and stomach muscles, are also subject to constant demands during a game of tennis. They help you to remain stable when hitting the ball, and are crucial for quick changes of direction. The abdominal muscles are also an important part of the service action.

The least surprising muscles involved in playing tennis are those of the upper body, specifically biceps, triceps, shoulders, upper back and chest. Although the power is developed by the lower body, the upper body controls the shape of the shot and the follow-through.

Final Thoughts

Tennis is a sport which constantly challenges your body. If you aim to play at a high level, you must take physical training seriously. All of the exercises referred to above are helpful for improving your play and preventing injury.

What Is The Best Age To Start Playing Tennis?

What Is The Best Age To Start Playing Tennis?

When people who enjoy tennis become parents, they soon begin to think about introducing their child to the game. They remember all the fun they’ve had competing and socializing, and want their offspring to have the same opportunities.

In the back of their mind, there will be the possibility that their child might turn out to be the next Novak Djokovic or Emma Raducanu and become a multi-millionaire superstar. Although they will appreciate that the latter is highly unlikely, they will still want to give their young potential tennis legend the best chance of success. Part of doing this is to make sure that their child starts playing at a sufficiently early age to master the relevant skills. So, what is the best age to start playing tennis?

In general, the best tennis players began playing between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. Learning at an early age allows players to reach the autonomous phase of learning quickly (in which they learn tactics and strategy without thinking about mechanics). However, players can become competitive amateurs by learning the sport at a much older age, like 40 or 50.

Phases Of Learning Tennis

There are several theories about the way we learn a complex skill like playing tennis. Fitts has set out a useful model suggesting that there are three main phases of learning motor skills. 

The first of these is the cognitive phase, during which a person is thinking about how best to execute a skill, including where to stand, how to grip and swing the racket, and so on. During this phase, the action is likely to be jerky, but this should not be a concern. Players will stay in this phase for anything between a few minutes and a few weeks, depending upon their experience and learning style.

The second phase is that of associative learning. By this point, the player has solved most of the issues surrounding how they should go about hitting the shot, and they begin to group movements into ‘chunks’. For example, they might consider the takeback phase of the forehand as one movement, even though it actually combines several. During this phase, which tends to last for a few months for a new skill, movements are more flowing, and players are more likely to be able to identify errors. 

The final stage of motor skill learning is the autonomous phase. Here, players have learned a ‘program’ of movements for the shot in question, and will normally be able to execute it without thinking about it- they will be in a state of ‘flow’. The shot will only break down under considerable psychological pressure in this phase, which can last indefinitely.

A player will move back to the cognitive phase if a coach suggests they make a significant change to a shot, and will gradually progress back to the autonomous phase.

The Best Age To Learn Tennis

Tennis is generally recognized as an ‘early start’ sport, in which players benefit from learning skills and movement patterns at an early stage and quickly reaching the autonomous phase of learning. This enables them to use their brain to develop mental and tactical skills without having to constantly think about the mechanical aspects of hitting the ball.

Children can begin learning the basics of the game in a fun environment at ages from 3 upwards, depending upon their attention span, and for most it is best to start as early as possible.

Avoiding Burnout

Burnout occurs when a player loses their enthusiasm for playing and training, most likely as a result of taking the game very seriously and then experiencing setbacks. There are several ways of reducing the likelihood of a young player experiencing burnout:

  • Make sure they take a break if needed. Tennis does not need to be a constant grind: if a player is exhausted they should take break to recharge their batteries.
  • Encourage them to pursue other activities. Do not allow tennis to be all-consuming. Other sports and hobbies will provide an enjoyable alternative focus.
  • Plan training sessions carefully. These need to be varied, interesting and not over-long in order for players to retain their enthusiasm.
  • Encourage players to consult a sport psychologist. This will help them to develop the skills to handle pressure situations, as well as providing counseling to enable them to talk through any issues they might be encountering.

Is It Ever Too Late To Learn Tennis?

If you still have the physical capacity to stand on court and swing a racket, the answer is a resounding no!

Tennis is a game for all ages. Go to any club, and you will see elderly people enjoying a game of doubles alongside teenagers playing a dynamic game of singles. However, you should have different expectations when learning tennis at 30, 40, 50 and 60.

If you are not accustomed to physical activity it is best to consult your doctor before taking up a new sport, but essentially you can enjoy learning and playing the game at any age. There is a world seniors tennis tour run by the ITF which includes a category for players over the age of 85, so there is plenty of time to reach a good standard. 

At What Age Did Top Tennis Pros Learn To Play?

In line with what we suggested earlier, most leading players began early. Alexander Zverev started at 3, whereas Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic were all on court by the age of 4. Roger Federer is a bit of an outlier in that he claims to have started playing at 8, but he was no doubt playing lots of sports and games prior to this.

Final Thoughts

If you want your child to have a chance to be a top pro, they will need to start playing when they are very young, but in general it is never too late to learn.

Tennis Mixed Doubles Rules (The Easy Guide)

Tennis Mixed Doubles Rules

Mixed doubles tennis is the most popular form of the sport at many clubs. Each team consists of one male and one female identifying player, and the format allows for fiercely competitive tennis or a pleasant social game, according to the preference of the participants.

At the highest level, mixed doubles players can earn significant prize money and prestigious Grand Slam titles, although the format is rarely seen in professional events outside of the Grand Slams. For example, Margaret Court is legendary for her all-time record of 64 Grand Slam titles, but this total was significantly boosted by the 21 she earned in mixed doubles.

In general, tennis mixed doubles rules are the same as for regular doubles. Serving rules are the same, as each player (both male or female) serves until a game is won or lost. Each player will serve to both players in the opposing team, and vice versa. Scoring rules are generally the same, with a 10-point tiebreaker as the deciding set.

How Does Mixed Doubles Work In Tennis?

The first thing to be aware of is that in almost every aspect, mixed doubles works in exactly the same way as men’s or women’s doubles.

The rules are virtually identical, and if four strong players are on court the game will work very similarly to any other game of doubles.

In many cases, however, the male players will be bigger and physically stronger than the females, which can result in the males choosing to take the bulk of the overheads and using their more powerful shots to focus the attack on the opposing female. Nonetheless, the latter can be counter-productive against a female who is a strong volleyer and enjoys rallying at pace. 

Tennis Mixed Doubles Serving Rules

Mixed doubles serving rules are identical to those for any other form of doubles. Each team takes it in turns to serve for a game. The player serving stays the same until that game is completed, and, next time that team is due to serve, their partner must serve throughout the game.

This means that during a set, due to the requirement to change ends after the first game of each set and every subsequent two, each player only serves from one end of the court, unless there is a tie-break during which serve rotates more quickly.

Other than where the conditions are very different at either end, in which case players may choose to continue serving at the same end throughout the match (aside from tie-breaks), the stronger server will normally serve first in each set and any championship tie-break. In mixed doubles, this is more likely to be the male, but this is certainly not exclusively the case.

Professional Mixed Doubles Tennis Rules

Where mixed doubles is played professionally, this is likely to be at a Grand Slam event. The organizers of these generally recognize the pleasure that both live and television audiences get from watching players of all genders competing with one another.

On the other hand, they do not wish to delay the other events, which some consider more prestigious, unduly as a result of unexpectedly long mixed doubles matches, so they generally adopt a shorter scoring format.

Whilst the mixed tennis doubles scoring formats change quite frequently, you might expect to see ‘no-ad’ scoring and a best-of-three set structure with the third set replaced by a ‘Championship’ tie-break to 10 points.

No-ad scoring means that if a game reaches deuce, the next point decides it. In this case, there is a special rule for mixed doubles, whereby the server must serve to the player of the same gender on the opposing team for the deciding point. Wimbledon is an exception to these rules, as they still play a full best-of-three set format.

Tennis Mixed Doubles Etiquette

At professional level, a male player with very powerful shots may hesitate to hit an aggressive smash straight at his female opponent, but in truth the players are playing for significant sums of money against fellow professionals, so it is very much a case of no quarter asked and none given.

At the club level, the mixed doubles etiquette depends very much on the standard of the players. At higher levels, the game will be played out like any other doubles game. In social tennis, there will be more elderly and weaker players involved, and it is not normally considered good etiquette to hit the ball directly at these players at high speed when they are close to the net.

This applies to players of either gender, as it is certainly not unheard of for elderly male players to partner strong females. Nonetheless, if a player is not strong, or lacks good reactions, the best solution is to gently advise them that they might be more comfortable at the back of the court rather than making themselves a target by standing at the net unnecessarily.

In essence, the etiquette is simply to minimize the risk of injury, but players do need to position themselves sensibly. Some players with big serves do not like to serve flat out to weaker players, but, as long as they are not aiming at the body, this is purely a matter of personal preference as there is no risk of injury.

Tennis Mixed Doubles Scoring

This is basically the same as for any other form of doubles, with sets won by the first team to reach six games if they have a two-game lead, or by the team winning a tie-break if the score reaches six games all. Mixed doubles is normally played over the best of three sets, although as explained earlier, no-ad scoring and a championship tie-break third set are often applied at professional level.

Final Thoughts

Mixed doubles can be a great game to play, requiring different tactics to other forms of tennis. If you have not experienced it, give it a try.

What Does UTR Mean In Tennis?

What does UTR mean in tennis?

You may have heard keen tennis players talking about how they plan to improve their UTR, or you might have read that college recruiters will be more interested in you if your UTR is good. In this article, we will try to demystify this strange terminology.

Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) is a measure of a player’s playing level, which is regularly updated. Players are rated on a scale between 1 and 16.5. A beginner has a UTR of 1, while Rafael Nadal is a 16. UTR gives the greatest weighting to recent match results, taking into account the opponent’s level and the closeness of the score.

Both male and female players are given UTR scores on the same scale, enabling them to play tournaments against one another to improve their rating, if they so choose.

We will begin by reviewing the history of the UTR, and will go on to explain how you can find a player’s UTR. We will indicate what might be considered a ‘good’ UTR for either gender, and will also look at how to convert a UTR to an NTRP rating, as used by the USTA. Finally, we will look at the various tennis tournaments which operate to enable players to improve their UTR and potentially win money.

The History Of UTR

UTR was launched by Virginia tennis pro Dave Howell in 2008, and the algorithm was designed by Alex Cancado. Howell’s aim was to devise a rating system which was up-to-date and accurate, and which would lead to more matches being genuinely competitive.

UTR has gradually begun to be used more and more around the world, which means that it can be used to compare players from any country. This is why it is particularly popular with college recruiters, as they would otherwise have little reliable means of comparing domestic and overseas applicants.

Today, UTR is the official rating system for college tennis in the US, and more than 40 national federations regularly submit results to UTR. In addition, professional results are now included, so even the world’s top players have a UTR.

How To Find Out Your Tennis UTR

To find your own, or another player’s, UTR, you will need to go to There, you can set up an account to check your UTR and the results that have contributed to it. In addition, you will be able to search for other players by name to find out their ratings.

What Is A Good UTR Rating?

This depends very much on how seriously you take the game. The UTR scale ranges from 1.00 to 16.50, with higher numbers being better. Solid club players might be rated between 6 and 8 for males or 4 and 6 for females. If you are male and want to play division 1 NCAA tennis, you will probably need a UTR above 12, perhaps 13 or above for a full scholarship.

If you are female, a rating of over 11 is likely to be needed. Professionals will be less concerned about their UTR, but Novak Djokovic has a rating of 16.27 at the time of writing, with Roger Federer’s having fallen to 15.59 due to inactivity. Ashleigh Barty has a UTR of 13.36, whilst that of US Open champion Emma Raducanu is 12.70. Essentially, however, UTR is primarily relevant prior to and during a player’s time at college, so it will be then when they are most concerned about having a ‘good’ rating.

How To Convert UTR To USTA NTRP

NTRP ratings are used to ensure competitiveness and fairness within the USTA league structure. They are initially often self-assessed, and are revised on an annual basis in the light of results. This is very different to the UTR, which is continually revised to reflect the most recent results, and is purely results based. Due to this difference, there is no reliable conversion between the two systems, especially as some NTRP ratings will turn out to be significantly inaccurate. Nonetheless, various tables have been published giving a broad comparison. The USTA have published the following on their website,

NTRP to UTR-range Conversion Table

Men’s NTRP     UTR Range        Women’s NTRP     UTR Range

4.0                          6 – 8                         4.0                      4 – 6

4.5                          8 – 10                       4.5                      6 – 8

5.0                         10 – 12                      5.0                      8 – 10

5.5+                          11+                          5.5+                      9+

NTRP to UTR Conversion Formula (used by Tennis360)

(Men’s NTRP) x 2.2 = UTR
(Women’s NTRP – 0.5) x 2.2 = UTR

You will see that they suggest multiplying the NTRP by 2.2 to get an estimated UTR, but this is very approximate, as are any of the comparisons in the above table.

UTR Tennis Tournaments

Around the world, there are many events which use the UTR as a basis for entries and matching opponents. These enable players to improve their UTR and potentially earn some prize money. One example is the Progress Tour in the UK.

Universal Tennis runs a Professional Tennis Tour (PTT) in which they have invested over $20 million dollars over three years. The calendar includes hundreds of events each year, in which each player earns at least a small amount of prize money, and which are run on a round-robin basis, assuring each player of at least four matches. To be eligible, players must have a UTR of at least 12.50 for males, or 9.70 for females, and must have a PTT ranking between 200 and 2,000 (wild cards are available for players outside this range).

Aside from specifically UTR-based events, all of your results are in any case likely to be submitted to UTR, meaning that every result can help you to improve your rating. Events run on a basis taking UTR into account are, however, likely to help you to improve your rating more quickly, as you are unlikely to play players rated much lower or higher than yourself.

Final Thoughts

UTR gives a good idea of a player’s current playing standard. If you aim to play NCAA tennis, you should aim to improve your UTR, as this will enhance your chances of a scholarship.