PARIS- Serena Williams says she'd rather be defeated on the court than be a loser in love after offering a consoling arm to heartbroken Caroline Wozniacki.
Williams tweeted Danish player Wozniacki following the break-up of her high-profile romance with golf star Rory McIlroy last week.
"@CaroWozniacki I'll always walk with you. #friendsforever," wrote world number one Williams.
That was in reply to Wozniacki's tweet which said: "It's a hard time for me right now. Thanks for all the sweet messages! Happy I support Liverpool right now because I know I'll never walk alone."
On Sunday, Williams said she felt for Wozniacki who had been planning to wed McIlroy later in the year.
"I would rather lose any day than break up. It's always hard," said the American.
"It's definitely easier to take a loss because you always have next week. But at the end of the day when you really are young, you always have next year and you have the rest of your life."
Williams has been linked romantically with her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou who was in the crowd on Sunday as the 32-year-old defending champion reached the second round with a 6-2 6-1 win over Alize Lim.
Williams will face either compatriot Grace Min or Spain's Gabrine Muguruza for a place in the third round where she could play big sister Venus.
Venus Williams began her campaign with a 6-4 6-1 win against Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic.