Kuerten gets ATP award

LONDON, JULY 6. Gustavo Kuerten has picked up the ATP player of the month award for June after his French Open title run.

France's Sebastien Grosjean was named ATP rising star of the month after thrilling his native French fans by advancing to the semifinals at Roland Garros.

Kuerten successfully defended his Roland Garros title, collecting his third Grand Slam crown on the red clay, and moved up to first place in the ATP Champions Race.

It was the Brazilian's fourth ATP title of the year and his 14th overall since turning professional in 1995. ``It obviously feels very good to get the award of player of the month,'' said Kuerten, who missed Wimbledon to rest after his claycourt exploits.

``I'm still enjoying the victory, and this award makes it even more special. Every minute of winning the French Open for a third time must be savoured. I'm practising hard and hopefully I'll win the award again in the next months, because it will mean I'm playing really good,'' added the 24-year-old.

Grosjean, fifth in the Champions Race - the ATP'S ranking system which includes only results in a calendar year - after collecting 94 points in June, also enjoyed an outstanding month reaching his second Grand Slam semifinal of the year at Roland Garros.

During the event, the 23-year-old Frenchman posted one of the biggest wins of his career with a four-set victory over former champion Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals.

Other candidates for the award were Roland Garros finalist Alex Corretja, Australian Lleyton Hewitt who notched consecutive grass titles at Queen's and Den Bosch and Roland Garros semifinalist Juan Carlos Ferrero who won the award in May and April.

- Reuters