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College Recruiting Tennis

What is a good UTR Rating ?

What is a UTR Rating?

UTR means Universal Tennis Rating. It is an international rating given to player from the beginner level to the professional level. It ranges from 1 to 16.5, where beginners start at 1 and the Top 10 ATP players are over 16.

The UTR system is powered by over 7 million match results, across 700 thousand players in over 200 countries.

UTR Ratings Scale

This system is used by most college coaches in the recruiting process.

If you already own a UTR ranking, you should be able to compare your level to any college player and/or professional level.

Another good point of this system is that both genders are evaluated in the same way.

Top 10 ATP Players UTR

ATP Ranking Player UTR Rating
1 Novak Djokovic 16.23
2 Rafael Nadal 16.14
3 Roger Federer 15.98
4 Alexander Zverev 15.92
5 Juan Martin Del Potro 16.00
6 Kevin Anderson 15.66
7 Marin Cilic 15.94
8 Dominic Thiem 15.85
9 Kei Nishikori 15.77
10 John Isner 15.46
50 Taylor Fritz 15.27
100 Guillermo Garcia Lopez 14.91
497 Marc Sieber 14.39

Table of ATP Players (December 2018)

Top 10 WTA Players UTR

WTA Ranking Player UTR Rating
1 Simona Halep 13.26
2 Angelique Kerber 13.15
3 Caroline Wozniacki 13.25
4 Naomi Osaka 13.27
5 Sloane Stephens 13.12
6 Petra Kvitova 13.04
7 Elina Sviolina 13.24
8 Karolina Pliskova 13.26
9 Kiki Bertens 13.15
10 Daria Kasatkina 12.87
100 Timea Babos 12.28
500 Lucia Bronzetti 11.82

Table of WTA players ( December 2018)

Some College Players UTR

College Team Team Ranking Spot Player UTR
Wake Forest 1st DI Team(M) 1 Borna Gojo 14.48
Columbus
State
1st DII Team(M) 1 Kiranpal Pannu 14
Middlebury 1st DIII Team(M) 1 Noah Farrel 13
Ole Miss 25th DI (M) 1 Tim Sandkaulen 13
Vanderbilt 1st DI Team(W) 1 Fernanda
Contreras
12
North Alabama Non-ranked DI (M) 1 Jason Pimenta 12
Wake Forest 22nd DI Team (W) 3 Eliza Omirou 11
Stetson Non-ranked D1 (M) 6 Josh Laka 11
New Mexico State Non-ranked DI (W) 5 Quinty Janssen 9
Mississippi Clg Non-ranked DII (W) 4 Paulina Cota 8

What UTR Rating to be Recruited?

College Coaches evaluate different aspects of the player when recruiting. The level of the player is one of them. Thus, to asses a new recruit’s level the coach can examine his UTR ranking, ITF or ATP ranking, and his national ranking. The recruiting video is also a key of level assessment. As the video might not always reflect the actual level of the athlete, the most reliable information comes from the international ranking( ITF and UTR). I would advise every student athlete aspiring to an athletic scholarship to focus on ITF tournaments and get a ranking that can be precious in the pursuit of a career in the United States.

It is if you are transferring from an American University during your degree, that your UTR ranking will be the most important.

Transfer students should already have competed with their previous team. Therefore these matches are most likely to be reported on the UTR website. As soon as matches are reported, college coaches are able to look at them and compare to the UTR ranking of the opponent. For more information about the recruiting process in general, here is a great resource.

But what UTR Rating should you have to get a scholarship?

To answer this question, we have to consider the competitive level of each universities. Some schools would afford to give scholarships to player starting with a 10 UTR level (for men), and 6 UTR level (for women). Other more competitive schools would not offer any scholarship for players under a 13 UTR level (for men) and a 10 UTR level (for women).

SO, no need to play like an ATP star to get a scholarship in the United States. From a 10 UTR level you will be able to find schools that will finance your studies. Almost anyone who knows how to play tennis and who knows where to look, can find himself a scholarship.

However, the quality level of the University and the amount of scholarship you get will depend on your UTR Rating. With a 10 UTR level (men), you might find a school that will grant you 50% of the tuition in an area that is not the best. You cannot expect a scholarship in a Division 1 school in New York with a 10 UTR level (men) for instance.

How to get a better UTR?

There is no secret on how to get a better UTR, there is only one recipe:

Practice – Compete – Practice – Compete again

Moreover, if we look at how the algorithm works, the more often you play the more your ranking will match to your current form.

How does the UTR System work?

According to the Official UTR website:

UTR 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.

This algorithm is known as reliable because the weight of your last matches is more important than the once played months ago. It also differs from many ranking systems which only take into account the wins and the losses. UTR rating evaluate the score of your matches, and will expect you to win a certain amount of game against a given UTR ranking of your opponent.

Player UTR Score Opponent UTR Ranking Change
10 W 6/0 6/0 10 + + +
10 W 7/5 6/3 10 + +
10 W 1/6 6/4 7/6 10 +
10 L 6/1 4/6 7/5 10
10 L 6/4 7/5 10 – –
10 L 6/0 6/1 10 – – –

In addition, this algorithm forces us to be patient as it is a “rolling weight average”. It will take time for your ranking to significantly change. It will also take some time for your match to be recorded by the UTR website depending on what kind of match it was ( College, High school, UTR events…).

Other factors

If you are looking for a scholarship in an American College, your level can be assess though your UTR rating. You have to keep in mind that it is not the only factor when looking at recruiting. Those can be:

  • The division of the school
  • The scholarship availability
  • Academic expectations
  • % of scholarship needed
  • Team spirit
  • Recruiting video
  • ITF Ranking
  • Doubles level etc…

The different divisions and the number of scholarships are explained in detail here. For now we can generalize by noting the fact that 4.5 for the men and 8 scholarships for the women are accorded in NCAA D1. And that there are no athletic scholarships given in NCAA D3.

Sometimes, the academic level of the student matters more than his athletic one. Academic scholarships in the same way as athletics can be awarded to international students that deserve it. In some schools your total scholarship can be the sum of an academic and an athletic aid.

Being an athlete in a College in the United States, I couldn’t help but notice that the team spirit matters to every coach. For example, after your match, no matter the outcome, you have to go support your teammates that are still playing.

Conclusion

A good UTR Rating is different depending on the situation. Whether you can afford most of the tuition and just want a spot on the team, or are looking for a full scholarship, the level needed varies. Your might have a good national ranking in your own country and have a perfect recruiting video, the UTR rating and/or ITF is what coaches really look at. It is rather reliable and very popular when assessing level in Universities.

Finally, you have to remember that every aspect of the recruiting process matters when trying to get a scholarship. Therefore, if that is your intention, I wish you good luck and I hope my website will help you reach your goals.

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