LAHORE - Pakistan's tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was playing the Fergana Challenger in Uzbekistan last week, where, in the Doubles event, he was paired with Pierre-Ludovic Duclos of Canada. After a walkover in the first round, the second seeded Aisam / Duclos comfortably dispatched Rifat Biktyakov and Christopher Rungkat in the second round 6-1, 6-3. The semi final posed a tougher challenge for Aisam and his partner, who were playing together for the first time. They were now up against the third seeded Russian pair of Evgeny Kirillov and Alexandre Kudryavtsev, who themselves had survived two difficult encounters in the first and second round. However, Aisam and Duclos were undaunted, and stuck to their guns against the Russians. The first set was tightly contested with neither side willing to give in. It was won by a single break of serve, and that went the way of the Pak / Canadian pair. In the second set, the Russians seemed to lose their earlier conviction in the face of unwavering opposition. Aisam and Duclos won the match 6-4, 6-3 to clear the path to the finals, where they would meet the Russian / Kazakh pair of Pavel Chekhov and Alexey Kedryuk, the fourth seeds. These two had overcome the much vaunted pair of Raven Klaasen and Danai Udomchoke in the Semi Finals, who themselves and dispatched the top-seeded Ratiwatana twins of Thailand in an early round. Duclos was playing in his first Challenger Final but it hardly seemed that way as he and Aisam broke to win the first set 6-4. In the second set, the Russian / Kazakh pair began to assert themselves, displaying the resolve that had brought them to the Final. As a result of their sustained aggression, they were able to take the set 6-3. The winner of the tournament would now be decided in the ensuring tie breaker. Here it was that Duclos' nerves finally caught up with him. The Canadian was unable to calm himself sufficiently to play an effective game and his concentration seemed to waive. This was all the opportunity the opposition needed, and they pounced hungrily. Unable to stem the tide, Aisam and Duclos lost the tie breaker and the match with a score of 6-4, 3-6, 5-10.