PARIS (AP) -- By winning the French Open for the third time, Gustavo Kuerten joined a select group of tennis players.
Only five other men have matched Kuerten's feat: Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander.
But unlike his predecessors, Kuerten has yet to prove that he can win championships on other surfaces and become one of history's best players.
Outside the French, he has only twice reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event.
His baseline game and sweeping groundstrokes, devastating on clay, are not as suited to faster surfaces.
Kuerten exited last year's U.S. Open in the first round and was eliminated from the Australian Open in January in the second round.
His chances of improving on last year's third-round showing at Wimbledon are nonexistent this year: He has decided not to play at the tournament, preferring to rest instead.
With only the U.S. Open remaining this year, Kuerten is a long way from taking a Grand Slam title aside from the French.
But the runner-up in Sunday's final, Alex Corretja, is convinced of Kuerten's greatness.
"Does he have to show that he can win the Australian Open or the U.S. Open?" Corretja asked. "He doesn't need to show anything.
"I would love to be in his situation."
Kuerten's win in Paris will send him to the top of the ATP champions race, just six points above Australian Open champion Andre Agassi.
With two Grand Slam events and three Masters Series tournaments on fast surfaces to go before the end of the year, Kuerten will have a tough time holding on to the top spot.
But the task, although difficult, is far from impossible.
At the end of last year, he knocked U.S. champion Marat Safin from the No. 1 spot in the Champions Race by beating Agassi in the final of the Masters Cup, which was played on a hard indoor surface in Lisbon.
Kuerten reached the final of the hard-court Ericsson Open in 2000, losing to Pete Sampras, and won another hard-surface tournament in Indianapolis last August.
"He has shown already like he did in Lisbon last year that he's able to play well anywhere," said Corretja, who lost a French Open final for the second time.
However, this year has been less impressive for Kuerten off the red clay. He lost in the third round at the Ericsson Open and the Indian Wells Masters, his only non-clay tournaments so far this season aside from the Australian Open.
While Kuerten struggles to adapt his game to fast surfaces, Jennifer Capriati appears to have mastered the clay.
The big-hitting, fast-serving American's game is better suited to grass or hard courts, yet she moved halfway to a Grand Slam by winning the French on Saturday.
It was the one major title she least expected to win.
"I never thought Roland Garros," said Capriati, also the reigning Australian Open champion. "Maybe I thought that would be the hardest one or the last one for me to win, being on clay."
Now that she has proven what she can do on her least comfortable surface, Capriati is aiming for a third consecutive Grand Slam title in Wimbledon.
"I feel comfortable on the grass," Capriati said. "I can't wait to get on it."
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