ROME, Italy -- The second week of the Mutua Madrid Open delivered plenty of entertainment as match after match went down to the wire. Twists and turns abounded in a slew of three-set thrillers.

That meant heartbreak as well as triumph -- not least for Aryna Sabalenka and Yulia Putintseva, who both fell from match point up last week. Sabalenka held three championship points to defend her title, only to be denied by Iga Swiatek in a classic final. Putintseva held two match points to reach her first WTA 1000 semifinal, only for Elena Rybakina to reel off five straight games from 5-2 down in the decider.

There was no sign of lingering scar tissue in Rome, though. Putintseva delivered a clean and clinical performance to defeat Martina Trevisan in straight sets in her opener, while Sabalenka was all smiles as she arrived at Media Day.

"I suffer a little bit," said Sabalenka. "[After the Madrid final] I crashed my racquet, that's how emotional I am. But I just throw it out once; I was OK afterwards."

But the World No.2 has learned the importance of perspective over her years at the top of the game.

"Now you lost, but you have thousands of opportunities to get that win," she continued. "It's just momentum and you just have to be [respectful]. You just have to accept the loss and just move on and work and try better next time."

Putintseva could have been forgiven for dreading a meeting with Trevisan so soon after her Madrid loss. The Italian had inflicted another heartbreaking defeat on her the last time they played, a wild 0-6, 7-6(0), 7-6[8] ride in the first round of the 2023 US Open. But for the Kazakhstani, the past was irrelevant.

"It was completely different conditions, different surface," she said. "I didn't need to bring in what happened in New York. [As for Madrid], as soon as I landed in Rome, it was a completely different situation."

Sabalenka echoed that sentiment, saying: "It's already in the past. Why would I stay still there?"

The Australian Open champion also consoled herself with the thought that, while such a tight loss might sting, it was better than the alternative.

"If I would lose that match 6-0, 6-0, I would definitely stay negative for long because I would feel that I didn't do my best and I didn't try my best," she said. "In that match, I would say that I left it all there. I was fighting for every point as best as I could. It's not like I was doing the wrong thing, it's she did it a little bit better in those key moments. Next time I'll try better."

For Putintseva, there was a simpler route to comfort: Italian food.

"As soon as I landed, I went to eat, and that was it."

Putintseva ousts home favorite Trevisan in Rome opener