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Michael Taylor 12th Apr 2009 - 21:07

Battle of Barcelona brought to you by betliveTV

The WTA tour makes its way to the David Lloyd Club Turo for the Barcelona Ladies Open 09 and, as some of tennis' brightest stars attempt to start the clay court season with a bang, you can follow all the action thanks to our betliveTV service.

The seventh annual Barcelona Ladies Open has seen its stature grow over the past year with a 50% prize pool rise and change in date that signals clay courts are back in fashion, and as such it means Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry won't be the only big names in Barcelona this week.

All eyes should be on the beautiful defending champion Maria Kirilenko who goes in search of sixth career tour title on her favourite surface but there are plenty in the mix that can scupper her plans.

Below is rundown of some of the world class talent who should feature heavily during the exciting week ahead.

Alize Cornet - The classy French number two has seen her world ranking increase dramatically over the past two years and after a decent performance in the Australian Open she managed a career high of #11.

A solitary WTA title coming on the clay of Budapest last July almost defies the terrific progress that she has been making and she could very easily become a double tour winner on Sunday.

Flavia Pennetta - Flavia has carried Italian tennis for the past few years, recording some memorable wins along the way. Her world ranking of 15 has been built on consistency and a love of clay courts.

With 15 wins already this year and just seven losses she has enjoyed a reasonable 2009 and will be a lot of people's favourite to add another tour title to her ever growing CV.

Anabel Medina Garrigues - Spain's big hope to win on home soil, Garrigues has eight WTA titles of which seven have come on clay.

Best known as a doubles specialist, results have not always come easily but she did manage an impressive victory over tournament rival Flavia Pennetta earlier in the season.

Maria Kirilenko - Kirilenko shot to international stardom by appearing in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition much to the delight of her army of male fans. But, as past results have shown, Maria is also a world class tennis player.

2008 was a breakthrough year for the talented Russian which led to a career high ranking of 29 and, although she has slipped back down to 38 since, she will feel confident of regaining some ranking points and defending the title she won last time.

Carla Suarez Navarro - It's never dull when Suarez Navarro is around as she continues to defy the form book with a mixed bag of results.

Sensational wins against Venus Williams, Anna Chakvetadze and Anabel Medina Garrigues have been tempered by miserable performances against the likes of Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Alexa Glatch. Expect fireworks!

Kaia Kanepi - 23-year-old Estonian Kaia Kanepi has yet to register a WTA tour title but there is enough about her to suggest one may be around the corner.

A recent rise to 19 in the world rankings was her highest to date and was made possible by reaching the semi finals at the prestigious Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. A comfortable straight sets victory over Jelena Jankovic in that very tournament signalled a high point in her relatively short career.

With a host of other top stars appearing in Barcelona make sure you keep an eye on all the action by tuning into betliveTV - free to all William Hill online customers on your PC.

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