The North Carolina State Closed (Open) Championship is a staple of Spencer Love Tennis Center’s tournament schedule every year. The 2015 edition, sponsored by Columbia Forest Products, was as popular as ever, drawing crowds every night from the Greensboro tennis community to watch over the course of nine days.
One of the 2015 champions was familiar with spotlight that’s accompanied by a tournament of this magnitude. William Noblitt, a former standout for the North Carolina State University men’s tennis team, won the NC State Closed back in 2008. After seven years filled with major life changes, Noblitt returned to Greensboro to clinch his second title.
He defeated Paul Goode in the men’s singles final 7-6, 6-1 on Saturday night.
“It feels good. With three kids and a busy job, I haven’t been able to hit as much as I’d like. But to come back seven years later and win feels great,” Noblitt said. “I try to go out early in the morning, try to get an hour in early, try to get an hour in at lunchtime, whenever I can.”
In the men’s singles final, Noblitt defeated Paul Goode 7-6, 6-1, finishing off a tournament where he didn’t drop a single set in four matches.
Noblitt is now the father of three children all under the age of 5. He’s also the tennis director at Seven Oaks Swim & Racquet Club in Raleigh, a job he accepted two years ago.
While the past few years have altered Noblitt’s life, he’s managed to stay on top of his game. He currently has his sights set on USTA national tournaments. He isn’t the only one in his house with bigger tennis aspirations, though.
“My 4-year-old has already been playing a little bit. My 18-month-old is already walking around the house swinging a racquet,” Noblitt said. “It’s been crazy, a good crazy.”
While Noblitt was repeating as the men’s singles champion, Greensboro native Hannah Templeton was winning her second title of the day. Templeton defeated and Kelly Parker defeated Carolyn Ansari and Mesalles 6-0, 6-2 in the women’s doubles final. Later that night, Templeton fought back to take down Ansari again in women’s singles 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Ansari ran away with the first set of the singles championship, but that didn’t discourage Templeton from digging deep. She drew some inspiration from a player she recently watched win repeatedly after finding herself in a hole early.
“Since I’ve been watching the French Open, I thought about how Serena (Williams) has lost all her first sets. So I thought, ‘Even Serena loses first sets and still wins,’” Templeton said. “I knew I wasn’t going to win playing nervous. I needed to be more aggressive.”
Templeton battled back and worked every angle of the court, keeping Ansari on the move and using her experience to pull off the victory. But even after winning the singles and doubles titles, she still wasn’t done.
On the last day of the tournament, Templeton put the final touches on her hat trick, winning mixed doubles with Jonathan O’Neal.
“I’m really happy. It’s exciting to win in your own city. I’ve never played in front of this many people,” Templeton said.
With college on the horizon, the atmosphere at Spencer Love provided a beneficial experience for Templeton. She’ll be playing for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the fall, and Templeton wants to be in the top six on the team. She said she plans to train harder than ever this summer to reach her goal.
Here's the full list of champions from the 2015 Columbia Forest Products NC State Closed Championships
To view the full draw and results from the tournament, click here. Are you looking to play in future USTA North Carolina tournaments? There are still several State Closed Championships coming up later this year. Check out the schedule here.
Templeton, Noblitt win titles at 2015 NC State Closed