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World No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, the man tipped to challenge for grand slam titles this season, began his year with a win over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut to advance to the quarterfinals of the Sydney International Wednesday.Other seeds struggled, with No. 3 Andreas Seppi from Italy bundled out by Australia's Marinko Matesovic 6-3 6-4, and sixth seed Julien Benneteau of France dumped in straight sets by Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.The women's draw, which has already seen top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki sent packing, lost third seed Sara Errani, last year's surprise French Open semifinalist, who was upset 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 by Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals.The former U.S. Open champion had to save two match points against 54th-ranked Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic as she labored through a 6-4 2-6 7-6 (9-7) match blighted by an astonishing 22 double-faults from both players.
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