Drake and Serena Williams
Serena Williams and Drake were first romantically-linked in 2011Getty

Not everyone is happy with Serena Williams and Drake's rumoured romance as reports claim friends of the tennis player are concerned she could get hurt. Gossip has it the pair's earlier romance "ended badly" as the Young Money rapper began dating other women and those close to Williams are reportedly worried it could happen all over again.

Photos emerged of Williams, 33, and Drake, 28, passionately kissing at Sotto restaurant in Cincinnati on 23 August, appearing to confirm ongoing dating rumours. A source has now told TMZ that the multiple Grand Slam champion has had a crush on the Know Yourself rapper since they were first romantically-linked in 2011 but he was allegedly not interested in settling down with one woman at the time.

According to the website, Williams has decided to give the Canadian hip hop star another chance because they have a "good vibe" but her friends have warned her to be careful. Sources close to Drake have reportedly told the website that the rapper treats the sport star with "more respect" than his previous love interests as he is confident she will not use him to achieve fame or fortune in light of her own successful career.

Drake's efforts have not gone unnoticed as the insider claims Williams appreciates him attending her tennis matches but is keen on progressing their romance slowly. The reported couple remained coy when the dating rumours first surfaced in 2011 but the Grammy-winning rapper heaped praise on the tennis star in an interview with Complex magazine at the time. He said: "I really, really love and care for Serena Williams. She's incredible. That's someone I'm proud to say I know. She's definitely in my life and I'm in her life. It's great to watch her play tennis. Very impressive."

Addressing the fresh romance claims, Williams told reporters at a press conference in June 2015: "It's all about luck. You got to keep your luck around. We've been friends for like so many years, just like family." Drake is believed to have been single since his on/off relationship with Rihanna ended in 2014 while Williams was most recently linked to French tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou earlier in 2015.