At 14, Krajcik enrolled at IMG Academy in Bradenton, where Nick Bollettieri pitched future champions in the sweltering Florida sun. At age 18, Krajicek won the US Junior National Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and flirted with turning pro. He chose to attend Texas A&M instead, to give his body and game a few more years to develop. In 2011, he won the NCAA men’s doubles title.
Then it was time to start playing for his next meal.
Travel to major tennis tournaments stops in major world capitals such as Paris and London, but players can spend many nights in destinations such as Binghamton and New York; Aptos, California; Rimouski, Quebec; and Gimcheon, South Korea. There are dreadful hotels, lots of bad meals and lots of empty stalls. Or no bleach at all.
Krajicek was a recent pro playing a minor tournament in Champaign, Illinois when he met Kedzierski, a senior tennis player at the University of Illinois. Kedzierski’s friend admired Krajicek but was too nervous to reach out to him. Kedzierski got her number and texted her on behalf of her friend only to find out that Krajicek was interested in Kedzierski.
They had their first dinner two months later in Maui, when they realized they were both there for tennis competitions. I thought he was a nice guy.
After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to work with a fashion designer in the entertainment industry. Krajicek, a couch surfer who often stayed at vacation homes of wealthy tennis boosters, used Los Angeles as his training base. He started staying at Kedzerski, showing up with his tennis bag and suitcase, training for a week or two, and then hitting the road again.