How UTR Rating Works

How UTR Rating Works

Your guide to how the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) works.

UTR by Universal Tennis is a global rating system 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.

Benefits of UTR Rating

UTR Rating provides a real-time view of a player’s true skill level. Having a UTR enables you to track your progress, find level-based play, and expand your tennis network to play with people across age, gender, and tennis silo.

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Who Has a UTR Rating?

Every tennis player can have a UTR Rating. UTR provides an accurate measurement of a player's true skill level, whether you are a recreational, junior, high school, college, or pro player.

Verified UTR Rating vs. UTR Rating

The rating counts all results, including matches played in verified tournaments/events and non-verified matches. Verified UTR Rating counts match results played in only verified tournaments and events.

For example, USTA league/tournament matches count toward Verified UTR and UTR Rating. Casual/practice matches and self-posted scores count only toward UTR Rating.

How is the Rating calculated?

The rating is calculated by an algorithm using a player's last 30 eligible match scores from the last 12 months. For each eligible match, the algorithm calculates a match rating and a match weight; a player’s UTR is the weighted average of all the match ratings.

Match Rating (Actual Performance vs. Expectation)

In every match, there is an expected outcome, based on the rating difference between opponents. Let’s say you play an opponent with the following:

Same UTR: The algorithm would project that you win the same number of games as your opponent. If you win more games, then your rating will go up.

Lower UTR: If the system expects you to win 6-2, 6-2 but you end up winning 6-1, 6-1, then your rating would go up.

Higher UTR: If you are expected to lose 6-3, 6-3, but you lose 6-4, 6-4, your rating will go up.

Your rating will go up or down based on how you perform vs. the expectation.

After one match result, you receive a projected UTR Rating (P). After approximately five matches, the rating becomes reliable. Your rating continues to update as more matches are added.

Match Weight

The following factors are used in the match weight calculation:

Format – More weight is given to longer match formats. A match with a 3-set format receives more weight than an 8-game pro set or 4-game mini-set format.

Competitiveness – The closer the rating difference between the players, the greater the match weight. For example, if a player with a UTR of 6.00 plays an opponent with a UTR of 5.00 (UTR difference of 1), the match receives more weight than one played against a UTR of 4.00 (UTR difference of 2).

Reliability – The more reliable the opponent’s UTR, the greater the match weight. A match played against an opponent who competes often and has a reliable UTR receives more weight.

Time Degradation –The algorithm represents current form; it gives more credit to matches played within the last few months.

What is the Best Way to Improve My Rating?

Compete Well – You can improve your rating by winning more games than expected, regardless of whether you win or lose the match and whether you play higher- or lower-rated opponents. Compete well and try to win as many games as possible; this is the best way to improve your rating.

Play Often – The more matches you play, the quicker your rating will reflect your current form. It is also best to play against opponents who are close to your rating regardless of whether they are above or below you.

Be Patient – Since UTR is a rolling weighted average, the effect of new results is slightly lagged. Your rating may take time to reflect a recent outcome.

To learn more, check out these FAQ's.

This post has been updated as of August 1, 2022.

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