LONDON -- Victoria Azarenka's comeback was cut short, as the eighth seed lost 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to No. 45 Bojana Jovanovski in the second round at Wimbledon on Wednesday. Azarenka, who beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 7-5 in Wimbledon's first round on Monday, was playing just her third match since a foot injury sidelined her for three months of the season.
Despite her lengthy absence, Azarenka has been in good form since returning to competition last week in Eastbourne, and overall, she played a good match against Jovanovski. Azarenka hit 46 winners to 26 unforced errors compared to Jovanovski's 27 winners and 22 unforced errors. She won 21 of 27 points at the net, and she won a higher percentage of her return points -- 41 percent -- than Jovanovski, who won 36 percent.
NGUYEN: Azarenka happy to return to competition after injury layoff
But the rust that accumulated during her time off showed in the tight moments. Azarenka struggled to convert her break point chances, converting just 3 of 16 chances. Down 1-4 in the final set, Azarenka fought back to even the score 4-all, but she couldn't convert a break-point chance at 5-all. Then, her lack of focus emerged in the final game. Serving at 5-6, she built a 40-0 lead only to lose the next five points, throwing in two unforced errors to end the match.
"It's a little bit too many mistakes like not closing the opportunities, not being sharp enough," Azarenka said. "There are a lot of things that still has to be tuned and has to be practiced. It basically goes down to back to work."
After the loss, Azarenka is already turning her focus to the U.S. hard-court season. She's the defending champion in Cincinnati, and she reached the final of the U.S. Open last year.
"I'm very happy that I'm playing. I'm just being very realistic of what I've done today," Azarenka said. "After losing a match like this, it's not very satisfying. But there are things that I'm happy with. I just need to look at the things that I need to improve. That's what I want to focus on, things that I want to improve. I want to go back to practice like tomorrow, maybe even today. That's it. I'm very motivated. I'm not taking that as a downer, this match. I'm going to take it as motivation to be better."
The win was Jovanovski's first over a top 10 player this year, and she'll play Tereza Smitkova in the third round.