Slam, Glam, Serena

A dismal loss in Tasmania yanked the outspoken, bootylicious tennis star out of a funk. Having won the Australian Open, she's powered up for the French

Brian Smith for TIME

Serena Williams photographed at her home court at BallenIsles in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Bammer. It's a name jackhammered into the brain of Serena Williams--the two syllables most responsible for why the U.S. tennis diva matters once again. In a chump-change Tasmanian tune-up for the Australian Open earlier this year, Williams, then ranked a paltry 94th in the world, fell to an Austrian named Sybille Bammer in a quarterfinal match. After some serious sobbing, Williams had what she calls her "Rocky moment." The next day, she stuffed a credit card into her sports bra--"in case I got thirsty"--and ran the steps of a Tasmanian park for hours. "I was just so mad," she says. "Whenever...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!