Azarenka was playing just her second event since the Australian Open because of a left foot injury, but she appeared in good form in her first round win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Monday. She had also defeated Jovanovski in their one previous clash at the All-England Club in 2010.
Jovanovski's triumph over Johanna Larsson in her opener snapped a six-match losing streak. Nonetheless, she is always a dangerous opponent, having recorded three Top 10 wins prior to Wednesday and having gotten as high as No.34 in the world earlier this year.
The Turning Point
It was a back-and-forth match throughout. Jovanovski drew first blood, recording the first set's lone break to go up 3-1 and eventually winning it, 6-3. The second set was exactly the opposite, with Azarenka getting the lone break to go up 3-1 and winning it, 6-3.
Jovanovski jumped on Azarenka early in the third set, breaking for a 2-0 lead and eventually going up 4-1. But Azarenka stormed back and tied the set at 4-4. Later, serving down 6-5, the Belarusian got out to a 40-0 lead but Jovanovski reeled off five straight points to complete her 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory.
"There are things that I'm happy with," Azarenka said. "I just need to look at the things that I need to improve. That's what I want to focus on. I want to go back to practice tomorrow, maybe even today. I'm very motivated. I'm not taking this match as a downer. I'm going to take it as motivation to be better."
By The Numbers
The statistics confirmed that the match was a dead heat. In fact, Azarenka won four more points than Jovanovski and had 46 winners compared to 27 for her opponent. She also converted on a terrific 21 out of 27 at the net compared to five out of eight for Jovanovski.
But Jovanovski had four breaks out of seven chances compared to just three of 16 for Azarenka in making the third round here for the first time in five tries. That also made Azarenka the second Top 10 seed to exit Wimbledon so far, with No.7 seed Jelena Jankovic having been beaten on Tuesday.