BackHand City : Playing Level Ratings
BackHand City helps you learn how to play tennis and decipher your own player rating.


0-3 Lessons in the past year. This player is seeking to learn the fundamentals of the tennis swing along with becoming familiar with basic grip terminology on how to hold the racquet and control the flight of the ball in rallies. This player may have some limited previous playing experience but does not understand basic techniques, terminology and proper grips.


4-8 Lessons in the past year. This player understands the different grips on forehand and backhand ground strokes, as well as how the racquet face affects the flight of the ball. This player is starting to become familiar with volley technique and can hit a slow paced serve into the service box about 50% of the time using an undeveloped or self-taught swing technique.


9-24 Lessons in the past year. This player is developing a reliable stroke most likely on the forehand and is beginning to be able to hit with increased consistency with this stroke. This player is also starting to get comfortable with movement and anticipation but still struggles with spontaneous shot making. Errors occur when shots are not in their zone or they are forced to make quick decisions and reactions.


This player’s strokes are becoming more innate but struggles with the height and pace of the ball and finding a consistent contact point. They are primarily a one-grip player utilizing the Eastern grip on all strokes. This player can maintain a consistent rally on both forehand and backhand ground strokes and can hit 4 balls in a row at a slow to medium controlled pace with relative ease but still have obvious weaknesses in their game. Their net play is improved to the point where they are not afraid of the fast moving ball at the net but still have trouble executing volleys. They can occasionally “pop” a serve with power but still struggle with consistency and rely on a “patty cake special” for a serve when the pressure is on (especially on the 2nd serve).


This player still struggles with grip changes and adaptive play. This player is getting more comfortable in point play and is beginning to see point patterns and has developed improved shot anticipation but still lacks the skills to take advantage of openings on the court. This player lacks directional control and placement during critical moments of play. This player excels in social tennis and is able to understand basic positioning and some fundamental strategy for executing a game plan. Some 3.0 players with a natural competitive nature can be very steady and win through perseverance.


This player has developed confidence using multiple grips in their game. Their serve is dependable and they utilize a Continental grip to execute spin and improved power on the serve. They have reliable stroke dependability and depth with groundstroke. They are more comfortable in competitive play with improved coping skills and increasing personal expectations of their game. This player can utilize aggressive shot making to end points on their own and has developed more court range and can switch from defense to offense in the middle of a point using spin and finesse tactics. This player typically is looking to refine a stroke to improve their game such as a slice backhand, volley or second serve.


This player has solid and dependable strokes off the ground and can use their first serve to get their opponent out of position. There is evidence of a ‘playing style’ at a 4.0 level and this player can execute in a League or tournament environment. This player will typically struggle in decision making in an effort to understand when to use the power and when to keep the ball in play. Pushers will typically drive this player to impatience as their strokes are not quite refined enough to provide their own pace and need the power of their opponents shots to thrive. In turn, this player may at times be upset by players of lesser perceived athleticism or tennis ability. They posses some variety in there game including lobs, drop shots and competent net play.


This player has begun to master the use of power and spins and is beginning to handle pace, has sound footwork, can control depth of shot. This player is beginning to vary game plan according to opponents and conditions. This player can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. This player tends to over hit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles.


This player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or attribute around which a game may be structured with a distinguished playing style. This player can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys, overhead smashes, and has good depth and spin on most 2nd serves. This player is also able to hit competent return of serves but struggles on spin serves with high bounces. This player may struggle in tournaments if they are not used to playing sanctioned events with ranking points at stake.


This player has developed power and consistency as a major weapon. This player can vary strategies and styles of play in a competitive situation (including serve volley, aggressive baseline or retriever) and hits dependable shots in stressful situations. This player can execute a variety of return of serves to suit the playing situation in singles and doubles. This player also can adapt their style of play to court surface and weather conditions.


This is a Division I College Tennis Player or highly ranked national player in an Open division. These players take the sport very seriously and practice multiple hour’s daily with purpose and intensity. This would also include senior players over 35 years of age that used to have an ATP ranking.


This player typically has graduated college or is a highly ranked national junior player looking to gather points and move up the world rankings. These players need sponsors or P/T jobs to survive till their rankings get high enough to break into Challenger and ATP Tournaments. There are approximately 2,000 players in the world at this level.


This player is in the top 200 in the world and plays internationally for prize money on a year round basis.

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