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Original Issue

Radwanska's Rat Race

Since AgnieszkaRadwanska's improbable run to the fourth round of last year's U.S. Open—asmashing Grand Slam debut during which the then 18-year-old's euphoria over herthird-round upset of Maria Sharapova was briefly tempered by her concern forFlippy and Floppy, the pet rats she had to leave behind in her nativePoland—she has continued to defy expectations. So far in 2008, just her thirdseason on the WTA tour, she has won three tournaments, earned $842,142 in prizemoney and climbed as high as No. 9 in the rankings. Her loss to Venus Williamson Monday means that Radwanska (above) has lasted until the fourth round orlater at every slam this year. But her success has come at a price. "I hadto give away the rats," she says. "I'm away too much to take care ofthem."