Up-and-coming squash player Georgia Adderley had only just been born the last time the Scottish Open was played 18 years ago, but fast forward to the present day and she cannot wait to take on some of the big names in the revamped event.
The Scottish Open, last played in 2001, now has a title sponsor in Springfield Properties and takes place at Oriam on the outskirts of Edinburgh from Wednesday to Sunday.
It will be a Professional Squash Association (PSA) Challenger 10 event with a $20,000 prize fund which will be equally split between male and female players.
The tournament has attracted some big names from Britain and further afield with Lucy Turmel of England top seed in the women’s draw and Scotland’s Alan Clyne number one seed in the men’s event.
University of Edinburgh student Adderley, 18, is due to face Alicia Mead from England in round one on Wednesday and the former Scotland age-grade football player is heading into the “home” event in good form.
She recently reached the semi-finals of the Swedish Open, her highest PSA Tour finish, and she said: “It is really great that the Scottish Open is making a comeback and I know all the guys who train at Oriam cannot wait to play in a big tournament there.
“It is great that the prize fund is to be split equally between men and women too, a number of squash events are doing that now which is really good and is leading the way.
“Over the last few months it has been a pretty busy time for myself and I have been away in various places quite a bit, but I like pushing myself as I find I play my best squash that way.
“I got to the second round of a PSA Tour event in France [the Annecy Open] earlier this month and then went to Sweden where I managed to get to the last four so I am getting used to playing at a senior level.
“To play in front of family and friends this week will be nice and then I have the under-19 Europeans in Prague [April 18-21] so it is all go at the moment.”
With much more exposure to senior events in the last year or so, Adderley, who was crowned Scottish Junior under-19 champion in December, is getting used to the rigours of taking on seasoned pros. “The biggest thing for me whilst making the step up in level has been the discipline side of things,” the student said.
“The older players are much more disciplined on the court and have a lot more patience and that is something I am working on, structuring my game better and really just being a bit smarter on court.
“I am quickly learning too that at the top level you cannot be giving away easy points or else opponents can get on a roll and can punish you.
“It is certainly a learning curve for me, but one which I am enjoying and trying to embrace.”
As well as Adderley, fourth seed Alison Thomson, Carrie Hallam, Lucy Murchie and Katriona Allen are the Scots’ females involved with Clyne joined in the men’s draw by Rory Stewart, Chris Leiper and Fergus Richards.