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Desert Desirae: Local tennis star, three-time grand slam champion Desirae Krawczyk back home at BNP Paribas Open

"This area has just been home to me since I could ever remember," said Krawczyk.

A former Palm Desert Aztec, Krawczyk and tennis are rooted here in the desert. So many memories she still holds with her to this day. 

"My dad introduced me to tennis when I was two," said Krawczyk. "He played at a smaller club in cathedral city and I grew up there watching him and started running on the court playing tennis. Doing some lessons and then it of just evolved from there and I just loved it so much. It’s taken me here."

Desirae said her first taste of professional tennis, came when she was a ball girl at Indian Wells when she was a teenager. And now seeded and playing doubles in the main draw, our valley tennis fans can’t get enough of it. 

"Desirae is a special kid. It’s very rewarding to see her out here playing professionally," said Owen McIntosh, a local tennis coach and family friend. "I’ve watched her play a 100 matches, and to now see her at this level is just very rewarding." 

"We’ve kind of watched her all the years go through Palm Desert high school - we use to go to the high school matches and watch her play then too," said Arlene Bauer a local tennis fan. "So this is very exciting for me to see her."  

Fast forward to this year - Desirae is playing her best tennis. Ever. And she’s having fun while doing it. She is embracing not only the rewards, but the journey. 

"I think I just learned a lot and it helped me for those moments when I played in the French open finals for mixed or Wimbledon center court and then the US Open. It was just so cool," said Krawczyk. "You are this little girl dreaming about these things and it’s finally coming true and it’s just amazing." 

But now, its showtime. This is Indian Wells. A Masters 100 event. The unofficial 5th Slam of the year. This is a big deal and the community knows it.

When asking fans why they were out watching Desirae they exclaimed, "because we love her!"

"This kid grew up from grass roots. So it’s very exciting for us in the desert to have her on tour and having the kind of success she is having," said McIntosh.

"I think I definitely have fans on my side but we will see," said Krawczyk. "I mean I’m just so grateful to be playing here and it’s only my second time playing here. But it’s just going to be amazing playing in this atmosphere."

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Bailey Arredondo

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