Alexei Chijoff-Evans, slated to be the co-captain and No. 1 player on the Harvard men’s tennis team this year, announced to his coach and teammates this week that he was leaving the team.
Chijoff-Evans, who has not yet returned calls for comment, was the Crimson’s only nationally-ranked player. Going 19-21 at No. 1 singles last year, he was tied for the team lead in singles wins.
The news has come as a shock to the Harvard tennis community.
“[The players] were hugely surprised,” said Crimson coach Dave Fish '72. “Anyone would be surprised. But he’s got a lot on his plate right now, and sometimes these things feel like a lot of pressure.”
Fish, as well as Chijoff-Evans’ teammates, elected to keep the full explanation private, but Fish noted that the departure was not unfriendly.
Harvard will suffer from its No. 1’s absence this year, but the team remains positive.
“Our measure of our success is if each guy learns to give the best he can every day,” Fish said. “We have a great bunch of guys. But we’ll miss that contribution. He’s a huge part of the team and a very fine player.”
Classmate and co-captain Aba Omodele-Lucien will take over the captaincy this year.