At 14, Krajicek enrolled at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, where Nick Bolloteeri famously turned out future champions under the stifling Florida sun. At 18, Krajicek sought to turn pro by winning the U.S. Junior Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chose to attend Texas A&M in his place and spent a few more years developing his body and his game. He won the NCAA men’s doubles title in 2011.
Then it’s time to start playing for your next meal.
A trip to tennis’ big leagues makes a few stops in world capitals like Paris and London, but players can spend far more nights in destinations like Binghamton, New York. Aptos, California. Rimouski, Quebec. and Gimcheon, South Korea. Awful hotels, terrible food, and lots of empty auditoriums. Or there are no spectator seats at all.
Krajicek was a rookie pro playing minor tournaments in Champaign, Illinois when he met Kezierski, a senior tennis player at the University of Illinois. A friend of Mr. Kezierski admired Mr. Krajicek, but was too nervous to contact him. Kezierski got his phone number and texted him on behalf of his friend, only to learn that Krajicek was interested in Kezierski.
Two months later, they had their first dinner on Maui, when they both realized they had come to Maui for a tennis match. She’s a nice guy, she thought.
After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to work as a stylist in the entertainment industry. Krajicek was a master couch surfer, she often stayed at the villas of wealthy tennis boosters, and she used Los Angeles as her training base. He began staying at Kezierski’s house, showed up with a tennis bag and suitcase, trained for a week or two, then returned to the road trip.