Edinburgh Sports Club squash player Lisa Aitken will make her first appearance of 2018 on home turf in this week’s $10k Edinburgh Open.
It marks one year since her return to the PSA World Tour after more than two years out the game through illness.
Aitken has surged up the world rankings since her comeback, rising 143 places to 59 in just 12 months, aided by her maiden wins on the PSA World Tour in New Zealand and Switzerland.
The 27-year-old admits her first year back on tour went better than expected.
She said: “If you said to me I would get to four finals, win my first two titles and get my ranking back into the top 60 I would have taken that.
“I stayed healthy and relatively injury free which was fundamentally the main goal and it has set me up to have a good 2018.
“I played mainly in $5k tournaments last year and now the next level for me is playing regular $10k-$25k events and getting stuck into winning some of them.
“Then it’s all about playing on the big stage at World Series events that, with an improved ranking, I could get into over time.
“But I need to remain patient and focus on winning some $10-$25k events to feel like I belong at the next level.”
The Edinburgh Sports Club tournament, which starts tomorrow, has doubled its prize pot for the women’s competition this year which has helped attracted some top players from around the world with three players from the world’s top 50 in both the men’s and women’s draw.
Aitken takes on a qualifier on Thursday and could face Egyptian top seed Nadine Shahin, ranked 34 in the world, in the quarter-finals.