‘It’s brilliant news’

The Scottish Open is set to return to Scotland for the first time since 2019, and will take place at Edinburgh’s new Meadowbank Sports Centre.

It will be the first professional snooker event in the capital for 19 years, with the new Meadowbank Sports Centre preparing to open its doors next month.

The venue hosted the Commonwealth Games in both 1970 and 1986 before closing in 2017 for a £47 million renovation.

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Recent editions of the event, which will take place from November 28 to December 4 this year, were staged in Milton Keynes and Llandudno.

Meadowbank Sports Centre manager Donald Goldsmith said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the Scottish Open at the newly refurbished Meadowbank Sports Centre.

“Meadowbank has been an important part of Scotland’s sporting history for many years and our new centre will build on this legacy.

“Snooker fans will be greeted with the warm Edinburgh Leisure welcome that we are renowned for.”

Last year’s runner-up John Higgins said it was “brilliant news” that the Open is returning to Scotland.

“It’s brilliant news for the Scottish players as we have really missed the chance to play in our home tournament over the last couple of years,” Higgins said.

“I think there’s a lot of support for snooker and a lot of people playing the game in Edinburgh. I would love to win it in front of my own fans.”

Despite his loss to Luca Brecel at last year’s tournament, Higgins reached six finals during the season and won the Championship League.

Speaking ahead of the 2022 Scottish Open, the 47-year-old believes the “trophies will follow” if he continues to put pressure on his opponents.

“If I keep knocking on the door then I think the trophies will follow.

“Ronnie O’Sullivan is an inspiration because he is still winning the big tournaments at his age so hopefully I can do the same.”

World Snooker Tour chairman Steve Dawson said: “We know how disappointed the Scottish fans and players were to miss out on a tournament in their homeland last year, so we are extremely pleased to move the event to Edinburgh this time.

“It’s a new venue for this superb event and we’re excited about bringing snooker to this top-class facility in the Scottish capital.

“There is such a rich history of great snooker players from Scotland and we know the fans love our sport.

“This is their chance to get behind their heroes and experience a live event of the highest quality.”

The Scottish Open was first played – under the title of the International Open – in 1981 and was won by Steve Davis. It returned as a permanent fixture on the schedule in 2016.

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