Originally Posted by gmatheis
This is true, however there is a nuance that is missing
Sometimes if you self rate as a 4.0 and play against other 4.0's and when you play it becomes clear they can win the match easily they often throw you a few games (sometimes even unintentionally)
But if you play a computer rated 4.0 and lose 6-3, 6-2 because they took it easy on you the USTA computer doesn't understand that and thinks that you were competitive at 4.0 when that may not be the case.
If you arent sure what to self rate at (say between 3.5 or 4.0)it is better to rate the lower level because you can play up but you cant play down and getting bumped down takes time where as you can bump up easily.
We could take this to many extremes ... including having the self rated player give away games so that they do not get the DQ. If all players play honestly then the system will work as I laid it out.
If your friend follows the self rate guidelines and/or her friends are sure she should play 4.0, then she should. To do otherwise would be dishonest and unfair to her opponents.