Saturn Oil Open Ready To Kick Off In Troisdorf

Marc Raffel and Marc-Kevin Goellner: co-tournament directors of the Saturn Oil Open


Following the conclusion of the NECKARCUP in Heilbronn last Saturday, the ATP Challenger Tour will soon be back in Germany with the inaugural Saturn Oil Open. The €45,730 clay-court tournament will be held from May 23 to 27 at the TC RW-Troisdorf.

Troisdorf is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, located approximately 22 kilometres south of Cologne and 13 kilometres north east of Bonn. Its 75,000 inhabitants make it the most populous city in the Rhein-Sieg-district.

The tournament will be organized by M.A.R.A Sports consulting, which has also been responsible for the ATP Challenger event in Meerbusch since 2013. They also hosted a Pro-Circuit tournament in Troisdorf over the last three years as part of the ITF World Tennis Tour.

M.A.R.A. Sports owner Marc Raffel and former German professional Marc-Kevin Goellner will both serve as the tournament’s co-directors. Fifty-one-year-old Goellner captured two singles titles on the ATP Tour, achieved a Bronze medal in doubles at the 1996 Summer Olympics and reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 26 in April 1994.

Are they satisfied with things are at the moment?

“Definitely,” said Raffel in an interview ahead of the start of the event. “The entire organizing team had already demonstrated great team spirit and the people in charge at the TC RW-Troisdorf provided incredible support and co-operation. The tennis facility has to meet many requirements, cables had to be laid, the tennis courts revised and so on. A big thank you also goes to the co-tournament director Marc Kevin Goellner, who is on hand and advice for everybody. In addition, I send a big compliment to all sponsors and of course to Martin Kastner, with whom we initiated the B&B Hotels Tennis Trophy.”

The Center Court will have a capacity of 1,100 spectators. The other two courts will each host 400 people. “We have already sold a lot of tickets,” said Raffel. “Things really picked up speed over the last few days. But there are probably still tickets available at the box office. Of course it would be great if the final weeked will take place in front of a sold-out crowd.”

For tickets, please visit the tournament’s official homepage.

Daniel leads entry list

The entry list is led by World No. 105 Taro Daniel of Japan, who is seeking his eighth ATP Challenger Tour career title, his second on German soil following his triumph in Hamburg two years ago. The German Tennis Federation (DTB) will probably award their two main draw wild cards to Nicola Kuhn and Rudolf Molleker.

Home favourites Dustin Brown, who has started to represent Jamaica with the beginning of this week, as well as Mischa Zverev will be part of the doubles draw.

Saturn Oil Open Entry List (as of May 17):

1 Taro Daniel 105
2 Daniel Elahi Galan 108
3 Andrej Martin 130
4 Zdenek Kolar 136
5 Tomas Barrios Vera 140
6 Roman Safiullin 147
7 Emilio Gomez 149
8 Hugo Grenier 151
Camilo Ugo Carabelli 154
Facundo Mena 167
Dominic Stricker 177
Thomas Fabbiano 187
Nino Serdarusic 188
Thiago Agustin Tirante 192
Geoffrey Blancaneaux 195
Filip Horansky 196
Zizou Bergs 198
Alexander Ritschard 204
Jozef Kovalik 211
Evgeny Donskoy 217
Sebastian Ofner 218