Sydney: Petra Kvitova will challenge Caroline Wozniacki for the world number one ranking this week, though it is a subject the Czech prefers not to discuss.
"I read in the newspaper that I can be number one in Sydney so I know, but this tournament is very tough," Kvitova told reporters ahead of her first match at the Sydney International on Tuesday.
"It`s not easy to win these matches and this tournament. I`m still hearing this question about the first position in (the) WTA. Sometimes it`s really crazy. Talking about the rankings - it`s only words."
Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who plays Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru on Tuesday, will replace Dane Wozniacki at the top of the rankings if she wins the Sydney title.
Wozniacki opens against Slovakia`s Dominika Cibulkova, who beat her in straight sets at the same stage last year. Both Wozniacki and Kvitova, the top two seeds, have first-round byes.
The 21-year-old Kvitova said she was feeling strong after taking to the mountains to help her cope with asthma.
"I had 14 days in the mountains in Slovakia where there was snow and we did the fitness preparation," she said. "The altitude there is very good for my asthma and I can breathe well.”
"We did a lot of running and we were in the gym, and of course we could take the walk to the mountains and see the beautiful places there."
Kvitova beat Wozniacki in three sets at the Hopman Cup in Perth last week. The mixed-team event carried no rankings points but still provided a confidence boost ahead of the Australian Open starting next week.
"I`m happy that I won, but it`s something different," Kvitova said. "It`s tough to say anything because it was not about the points or rankings or anything like that. It was a good match for us to prepare for Sydney and for the grand slam. We saw a little bit how we have both prepared."
Nine of the top 10 women in the world are playing in Sydney, with the only absentee being number four Maria Sharapova, who pulled out of last week`s Brisbane International with an ankle injury.