We got a surprise on the morning of the Doubles. As we got out of our locker room and assembled in the tunnel before walking out to the stadium, Indonesia's number 1 player, Christopher Rungkat was at the front of the line with his bandanna on and his racket bag on his shoulders. I looked back at Aqeel, my doubles partner, to make him aware of that. He was a bit surprised too, and so was the captain when he found out seconds later.

Rungkat had pulled out of the tie on the morning of the draw ceremony due to an injury. He was still on the team and could be substituted in on the second and or third day, but not on the first. And so he did when he saw his country down 0-2 after the first day.

We knew that would make our plan of finishing the tie on the second day a little bit tougher to execute. And it did. Aqeel and I lost doubles to Rungkat and Trijati in 5 sets.

That night following the doubles, I was told by our captain that I will definitely be playing singles the next day but I wasn't told first or second. At 7:30 a.m., two hours before the first singles on the third day, Hameed (captain), Aqeel and I were at breakfast and that's when we finally decided I will play the first match. The first match on the third day is always between the number one players of both teams. So, I was replacing Aqeel to play Indonesia's number one. Hameed went to the stadium at 8:15 to change our line up. The referee needs to be informed at least an hour before the start of the match of any changes in the line-up.

So now I knew I was playing, but I didn't know who my opponent would be. If they stayed with the first day's line up, I'd be playing Susanto, but there was a very good chance that they'd put Rungkat in, as they did the day before for doubles.

Rungkat is a high level player who's been playing on the tour for the last five to six years, has won multiple ITF Futures tournaments and has been ranked as high as top 300 in the world. So he was always going to be a gruelling challenge. Susanto, on the other hand, was beatable I knew; but that can be more nerve wracking. His current world ranking is around 1050 which means he's won some main draw matches on the pro circuit.

We had the match court to warm up from 8:30 to 9:00. When I got there to warm up with Hameed, I saw Susanto was finishing his warm up. That's when I found out it's going to be him and not Rungkat.

That made me even more nervous. I had to win. I was in the same situation four months ago in Colombo against Mohammad Ghareeb of Kuwait in my first Davis Cup tie. I was 2-1 up in the first reverse singles, had the chance to clinch it... but I couldn't. I was two sets to one up and 2-1 in the fourth set with two break points to go up 3-1 with the serve. Ghareeb came up with three aces and a service winner.

I wanted to win it this time and I knew I had a good chance, even though he was a much superior player to me on paper.

It was a hot day so I kept the warm up short. Went back to the locker room around 9, took a quick shower, changed up and relaxed for a while.

Around 9:20 I walked on to the court and got set on my bench. Got the rackets out, changed a grip or two, got the drinks out of the box, and all that.

At that time my heart was racing, I was more nervous than I had ever been before. I was trying to act calm but I was actually shivering. I got up from the chair and hopped around trying to shake it off and be loose but it was making me sick. I felt bad in the stomach; felt like I was going to puke my heart out.

Being nervous before a match is a good thing. It means you care and that you want to perform well. But being this nervous could not possibly be good.

Turned out it was, actually. I started off the match well, despite the double fault on the first point of the match. I got up a break early which turned into a double break and pretty soon I was up one set to love.

Once the second set began, I started to play a little tentatively, waiting for him to make mistakes and not going for my shots. The set went neck and neck until my service game at 4-4. On the first point his return clips the top of the net and rolls over on to my side and the Indonesian crowd loves it. At 0-15, I hit a hard first serve to his backhand which he completely frames. As I find my balance after the follow through on the serve, I see the ball creeping over the net with tons of backspin and watch as the absolute shank turns into a perfect drop shot. I'm down 0-30 without even playing a point. The crowd is loving every bit of this turn of events, even more so because it was all luck.

I managed to hold that serve and it was followed by two more holds which took the score to 6-5 for me. I got up two set points at 15-40 on his serve but choked big time. I played so tentative that within 40 seconds it was deuce. I got a couple more set points but I wasted them.

I was extremely mad at myself for letting that game go because it got the crowd back into it and the momentum was with him to start the tie break. And it didn't help when I threw away the first point, pulling a regular mid court backhand way wide.

Somehow, with the help of a few risks and gambles, and a couple of decent serves I took the tie break 7-2.

I took a bathroom break after the set to relax and cool down a bit as it was the hottest day of our whole trip, but that didn't quite help me as much as I thought it would. The locker room was freezing cold, which felt like heaven at the moment but it had adverse effects on my muscles. It cooled them down and that's not a good thing. Cooling contracts the muscles and that is the opposite of what you want. Contraction of the muscles is what happens when you cramp. So basically, by cooling my body down I had brought muscle cramps sooner than they were supposed to come.

Second game of the third set - and I felt my legs cramping. Not just one or two muscles, there were full leg cramps in both legs, from quads to glutes to hamstrings to calves. I had to make a game time executive decision; to try or not to try in this set. When I sat down on the 0-3 change over, captain and I decided that I'm going to conserve energy and not try anymore in this set. All I tried to do from then on was hide the fact that I have cramps, limit my movement, make him move as much as possible, and make him generate his own power in the strokes – which meant a lot of slow backhand slices, slaps from the forehand side and drop shots wherever I had a chance. It didn't get me any games, even though I wanted to hold at 0-5, so I could start the fourth set serving. It did wear him down a little, while I warmed up and rejuvenated with the help of 'Pocari Sweat', the Gatorade of the Far East. An electrolyte drink that I chugged and chugged some more with extra salt added by my teammates sitting behind me.

By the time the fourth set started, my legs had warmed up again, I had rested my body somewhat and the electrolytes had kicked in to restore my legs. But I knew if I played safe and just counter punched, I'd be bringing the cramps back. So I decided to get on the offense and keep him on the move. The plan was to loosen up the legs and swing away whenever there was even that little bit of time and space. I decided to go a little extra on both serves too, to get free points and or set up easier second balls.

The plan captain and I devised, worked. I broke him twice to go up 5-1 in the fourth. On his serve at 1-5 we had a close long game which he eventually won after a few deuces. I obviously wanted to finish it right there so I scrambled and hustled which took a toll on my legs and the cramps came back. This time it was only my upper left quad: rectus femoris, I believe.

On my serve at 5-2, the cramp got worse, which meant I needed to end it sooner. I won one, lost one and it went to deuce like that. I served my second double fault at deuce to hand him a break point, but saved it with an inside out forehand winner after a long rally.

I couldn't keep my leg straight for long, the only way it was calm was if I stretched it so that my calf and hamstring were touching, and that's not a good position for any sport.

Thankfully I didn't have to be out there for long. Luckily, a good first serve to the body got me a high short ball which I decided to volley behind his back to end the pain for me (literally) and for my captain, who had to sit through the roller coaster of a match, which included two bagels (6-0 sets), one for each side.

As soon as I made contact on that final volley, I knew it was all over. I looked right towards my captain and camp before the ball had bounced twice and froze. I stood still and smiled as Hameed ran over and hugged me.

Winning a tennis match never felt this good. In my four years of college tennis at Idaho - not that it compares to Davis Cup - I never clinched a match for the team. I lost a few deciding matches, but never won any. So winning this deciding match for Pakistan will help me put that stat behind me.

Maybe winning a Davis Cup match at home in Pakistan, in front of a home crowd, friends and family, would top this feeling. We will have to ask our seniors, because we won't get a chance at that unless international tennis returns to Pakistan soon.