NEW YORK — When Serena Williams plays a match she prefers to have the crowd support firmly on her side.

After winning her second-round match 6-2, 6-2 over Carina Witthoeft of Germany at the US Open on Wednesday night, however, the 17th-seeded Williams admitted to not being comfortable asking fans to stick with her for Friday’s third-round encounter.

That’s because the 36-year-old Williams will be playing her older sister, 38-year-old Venus, and not pushing her own cause was way more than just about respecting her elder.

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