Serena Williams' rivalry with Drake goes beyond big courts

TORONTO – Serena Williams went all soft and cuddly when discussing her friendship with Drake, the Toronto rapper who’s been seen at some of her Rogers Cup matches this week.

“We've been friends for so many years,” she said after booking her ticket to the tournament semifinal with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Roberta Vinci on Friday.

FILE -- Drake looks as Serena Williams, of the US, plays Andrea Petkovic, of Germany, during round of 16 tennis action at the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Thursday, August 13, 2015. Drake used a post on his website to extend his condolences to the families of a 26-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man who were fatally shot at the O-VO Fest after-party 10 days ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
FILE -- Drake looks as Serena Williams, of the US, plays Andrea Petkovic, of Germany, during round of 16 tennis action at the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Thursday, August 13, 2015. Drake used a post on his website to extend his condolences to the families of a 26-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man who were fatally shot at the O-VO Fest after-party 10 days ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

“He's just like a normal person to me. He's super nice and super sweet, super amazing person.”

However, when the conversation turned to the time they spend on the court, Williams’s competitive nature shone through.

“We actually hit several times,” the world No. 1 said. “He's really a good player. He said he played tennis when he was younger. I thought, ‘Really, of all sports?’ So he's always kind of been into tennis.”

“He says he can take me lefty, which gets me charged up,” she added, rolling her eyes and then laughing.

OK, so it’s probably safe to assume Williams – whose resume includes 21 Grand Slam titles – is the better tennis player of the two.

But would Drake make a better tennis player or would she make a better rapper?

“That’s a good question, because tennis takes a lot of years of skill and practice. And I'm not saying rap doesn't,” Williams said.

“Rap, you gotta think off the spot and do all this other stuff. So I don't know. Let's just say I'm doing the right thing and I think he's doing the right thing.”