I know many people consider tournaments more important, but I don't understand it. I play USTA leagues as well as tournaments, and I consider the league far more competitive and far more serious than tournaments, for several reasons: - In the league, people other than you care about the result, so there is more pressure. Especially when your match goes to 3 sets, your teammates are done with their matches, the teams are tied 2-2, and everyone is watching your match. This happened to me in the very first USTA match I ever played(it was windy, sun was in the eyes, and it was a dogfight of a doubles match). - A league is a season long thing. The results continue to matter beyond the weekend, as you are trying to make the playoffs. - League results actually affect your computer rating. As far as I can tell, the only link between tournaments and your official rating is that the latter disqualifies you from playing tournaments at a lower rating. I know people who play only tournaments and don't even have a rating. They sign up for 3.5 , 4.0 or 4.5 tournaments, whatever is available. - Standard of play is higher in the leagues. The guy who wins the most 4.0 tournaments in my area is an average player in the league. The best 4.0 players don't play tournaments. At 3.5 & 4.0 levels, many of the best players tend to be older guys (45+) who have trouble playing 5 matches in one weekend.