UPDATE 1-Tennis-Roddick leads caravan of seeds into U.S. Open round two
* Roddick blasts 20 aces in win over American qualifier
* Venus clocks fastest women's serve of the tournament
* Radwanska, Ivanovic, Kerber, Tsonga and Berdych advance (Adds quotes, later matches)
By Steve Ginsburg
NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Former champions Andy Roddick and Venus Williams led a cavalcade of seeded players into the second round of the U.S. Open while upsets were as rare as a cool breeze at sultry Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.
Roddick, who won the title in 2003 but remains searching for a grand slam encore, cruised by 21-year-old American qualifier Rhyne Williams 6-3 6-4 6-4 in under two hours.
Williams, a two-times winner of the year's final grand slam, clocked the fastest women's serve of the two-week tournament in overpowering fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3 6-1.
Serena Williams was set to take the court later Tuesday under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium, as was holder Novak Djokovic, the second seed on the men's side.
Roddick blasted 20 aces and successfully landed 73 percent of his first serves to easily subdue Williams on a steamy day at the National Tennis Center.
Williams hit 30 winners but committed 23 unforced errors in the loss to Roddick and perhaps a few too many drop shots for his opponent's liking.
"He hit about as many drop shots today as I ever hit in my career," Roddick, who will turn 30 later this week, said with a laugh, while adding that the game has changed a lot since his U.S. Open triumph.
"I had a massive serve at 135 (miles per hour, 217kph), and this kid today was hitting them that big," said Roddick. "The game has gotten significantly better since then."
There were no major upsets on a sticky day at Flushing Meadows, with most of the seeds moving on to the second round with straight-sets victories.
World number two Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland showed no signs of a shoulder injury that forced her out of the New Haven tour stop last week as she routed 91st-ranked Nina Bratchikova 6-1 6-1.
Number 12 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia overcame a lack of hard court preparation and recent foot problems to cruise by 17-year-old Ukrainian qualifier Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-2, while 13th seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia defeated Sweden's Johanna Larsson 6-7 6-2 6-0.
Venus Williams landed only 55 percent of her first serves but managed to launch one at 124 mph, the quickest of the women's tournament to date.
She lost the first two games to Mattek-Sands before showing glimpses of the form that has earned her seven major titles, including U.S. Opens in 2000 and 2001.
"The first two games I couldn't quite get it right," said Venus. "She played some good shots, some good serves. Two-love and I'm serving, I feel like I'm going to hold and maybe it's going to be even soon. I feel good on my serve."
Williams, currently ranked 46th, withdrew from the U.S. Open last year shortly before her second-round match and revealed she had Sjogren's syndrome.
After a difficult battle to control the autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness, she is in the second round but has a tricky match against the sixth-seed Angelique Kerber from Germany.
Venus said she yearns to get back into the world top 10 but conceded "it never happens the way you want it to."
"That's one thing I found out throughout my whole career," she said. "When you don't make it to one goal, just make some more. But, of course, I'm looking forward to the top 10, all that great stuff. I feel like I have it in me."
Radwanska, who could supplant Victoria Azarenka for the number one ranking if she reaches at least quarter-finals and has other results go her way, converted six of seven break-point opportunities against her Russian rival.
"Actually I'm just very happy that I could give it my best in the first match," Radwanska said after the 54-minute affair. "It's always difficult for the first match.
"Every week it's different surface, different balls."
Radwanska said it was difficult playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the humidity was more like the Amazon rainforest than Queens.
"Conditions this year are very tough, especially last few days was very humid," she said. "Yesterday was raining, and today humid again and windy.
"It wasn't that easy, but I'm kind of used to it. Especially on center (court) we're always struggling with the wind. I was prepared for that."
Ivanovic had only one hardcourt match this summer but enjoyed a 26-7 advantage in winners over Svitolina to set up a second-round match against Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden.
"It was actually tough going on court because I didn't know much about the opponent today," she said. "She obviously had few matches behind her, so I expected a tough match and I tried to focus on my game. I did really well today, so I'm very pleased."
Ivanovic, the former top-ranked player in the world, admitted it was "very hard" to deal with lofty expectations.
"There is so many dangerous opponents out there, and everyone can have a great day and give a tough match," she said. "You have to really not take anything for granted and work hard for each victory."
Other seeded players to advance on the men's side were number five Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Czech number six Tomas Berdych, and in the women's draw, Kerber. Each advanced in straight sets. (Editing by Frank Pingue)
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