Texas senior Yuya Ito, a driving force on the 2019 men’s tennis national championship team, will not return for the extra year of eligibility he received due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Ito leaves UT as “one of our program’s all-time greats,” coach Bruce Berque said. A native of Yokohama, Japan, Ito was a three-time singles All-American and finished in the top 10 nationally the last two years. He finished a bachelor’s degree in economics in May.
“Simply being on the team gave me so much joy on and off the court, so it was definitely one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my life,” Ito said in a statement. “The resources that we were given as student-athletes at Texas were just incredible, and it was nothing close to what I imagined before coming.”
Ito thanked his teammates and the fans. “My overall experience at UT is something I wouldn’t trade for anything else,” he said. “I’m so honored I got to become a part of the Longhorn family, and I will always bleed burnt orange. Thank you all again, and Hook ‘Em forever!”
Ito posted a career record of 111-34 in singles competition and 79-36 in double play. He was on pace to set the UT record for most singles victory had the 2020 season not ended to COVID-19.
“He’s known for his dramatic wins on big stages, most notably clinching our 2019 NCAA Championship, and then opening the 2020 season by securing our road win over No. 1 Florida,” Berque said. “On these and many other occasions, he set the standard for competitive toughness and gave our young players a clear picture of what Texas Fight looks like.”
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