This self-rating guide has been adapted from the USTA National Tennis Rating System by Tennis Canada. The rating can be used informally as a guide between players to identify playing standards, or just for your own information.
1.0 The player is just starting to play tennis.
1.5 The player has been introduced to the game. However, has difficulty playing
the game, due to a lack of consistency rallying and serving.
2.0 Can get the ball in the play but lacks control, resulting in inconsistent rallies.
Often chooses to hit forehands instead of backhands. On service return, tends to position to protect weakness. Inconsistent returns. In singles, reluctant to come to the net. In doubles, understands basic positioning, comfortable only with the forehand volley; avoids backhand volley and overhead. Incomplete service motion. Toss inconsistent. Double faults common.
2.5 Can rally consistently 10 balls in row, especially on forehand, with an arched trajectory of the net when the objective is to hit to a partner at moderate speed. In singles, consistent when returning towards the middle of the court. In doubles, difficulty returning cross-court to start the point. Becoming at ease at the net in practice but uncomfortable in a game situation. Attempting a full service motion on the first serve. First serve is inconsistent (less than 50%). Uses an incomplete motion to ensure a steady second serve.
3.0 Can rally consistently 10 balls in a row on forehands and backhands. Able to maintain the rally when receiving high, short or wide balls, assuming the ball is received at a moderate pace, especially on the forehand. Can control the direction of the ball both in singles and doubles, when receiving a serve of moderate pace. Very consistent on forehand volley with easy balls, inconsistent on backhand volley. Overall has difficulty with low and wide balls. Can smash easy lobs. Full motion on both serves. Able to achieve more than 50% success on first serve. Second serve much slower than first serve.
3.5 Can move the opponent around the court or hit harder when receiving easier balls. Can execute approach shots with some consistency (more than 50%). Can return fast serves, placed serves with defensive actions. On easy second serve, can return with pace or directional control; can approach the net in doubles. Becoming confident at net play; can direct forehand volleys; controls backhand volleys but with little offense. General difficulty in putting volleys away. Can handle volleys and overheads that require moderate movement.
4.0 Can develop points with some consistency by using a reliable combination of shots. Erratic when attempting a quality shot when receiving fast or wide balls, and when attempting passing shots. Difficulty in returning spin serves and very fast serves. On moderately paced serves, can construct the point through hitting a good shot or exploiting an opponent’s weakness. In doubles, can vary returns effectively on moderately paced serves. In singles, comfortable at following an approach shot to the net. In doubles, comfortable receiving a variety of balls and converting an offensive position; can poach on weak returns of serve. Able to put away easy overheads. Can vary the speed and direction of the first serve. Uses spin.
4.5 Can use a variety of spins. Beginning to develop a dominant shot or good steadiness. Erratic when attempting a quality shot in two of the following situations: receiving fast balls, wide balls and in passing shot situations. On first serves, can defend consistently but very inconsistent (less than 30%) when attempting an aggressive return. In doubles, has difficulty (less than 50%) returning a first serve at the feet of the incoming serve and volleyer. When coming to the net after serving, consistently able to put the first volley in play but without pace or depth. However, inconsistent when trying to volley powerful or angled returns. Close to the net can finish a point using various options, including drop volley, angle volley, punch volley Aggressive first serve with power and spin. On second serve, frequently hits with good depth and placement without double faults. Can serve and volley off first serves in doubles, but experiences some consistency.
5.0 Able to maintain a consistent rally, 10 balls in a row on faster balls. Very steady strokes or has a dominant shot. Periodically succeeds (50%) when attempting a quality shot when receiving fast or wide balls, and in passing shot situations. Periodically succeeds (50%) at aggressive return off fast first serves using dominant shot (fore or back hand). In doubles, can return at the feet of the volleyer. In doubles, after the serve, has a good, deep cross-court volley. Overhead can be hit from almost any position. First serve can win points outright, or force a weak return. Second serve can prevent the opponent from attacking. Serves in5 doubles with consistency.
5.5 This player has developed a game style which is recognizable as either an all court player, an aggressive base liner, a serve and volleyer, or a retriever. Has developed good anticipation, either technically (can read toss on serve, body position...) or tactically (can read opponent’s tendencies in specific situations). Has no major weaknesses and can counterattack effectively against a hard ball, wide ball or in passing shot situations. Ale to use specific shots in order to exploit opponent’s weakness: drop-shot, angle, moon ball.... Capable of competing in “Open” category provincial level tournaments.
6-7 This player typically has had intensive training for national tournament competition at junior & collegiate levels and has obtained a provincial or national “open” ranking. The 6.5 player has extensive international “open” level experience at the entry professional level. The 7.0 player is a world class professional tennis player.