LAHORE - Pakistan top tennis star Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi and partner Prakash Amritraj battled hard to win the epic four-and-a-half hour match and qualify for the third round. The stunning scoreline 7-5, 8-4, 6-7, 6-7, 8-6 could only partially reflect how hard the match was fought. Aisam and Indian Davis Cupper Prakash Amritraj were pushed to the limits by German/Australian pair Phillip Marx and Rameez Junaid. The first match of the day, the play started at noon under a clear sky. All the four players served big, especially with the balls still light, winning a high percentage of points on the first serve. It was on the second serve however, that the set was decided. While not giving away anything on their own serve, Aisam and Prakash piled on the pressure on their opponents' service games. Late in the set, they were given their first opportunity to break serve, but failed to capitalise on that. However, in the same game, there was another break point, and this time, they were able to convert to get a chance at serving out the set. This they did successfully, thus winning the first set 7-5. The second set started out much the same way, with Aisam and Prakash the ones in charge. The number aces went up for both sides, as holding serve became of paramount importance, given the scarcity of break point opportunities. What few break point chances there were in the early stages of the set were fiercely defended by their opponents, and it was only at 4-5 when, serving to save the set. Marx hit a crucial double fault to hand the set to Aisam and Prakash 4-6. One would imagine, judging from the pattern of play, that Aisam and co. would now run away with the match, and indeed they had their fair share of break points. However, Marx and Junaid were playing with nothing to lose, and increasingly started reasserting themselves. The result was that the set went to a tie breaker. Here, the Asians lost an early point on their own serve and could not recover in the face of the growing strength of the opposition. Marx and Junaid won the set 7-6. In the fourth set, both sides held their serves well. Aisam and Prakash had a chance to break at 0-40 on the opponents' serve. However, after a flurry of huge serves and crisp follow-up volleys, the game was saved by the server. It took another tie breaker to decide this set. Here again, it took just a single error on the volley to hand Marx and Junaid a lead. As in the previous set, they capitalised to take the set by the exact same score as earlier. After a whopping three and a half hours play, all eyes were on final set. Serves were held by both side until it was 5-5. Aisam and Prakash looked set to hold serve comfortably at 40-0, when all of a sudden two return winners meant they were under pressure at 40-30. Two volley errors followed, and from nowhere, the Asian duo was broken, with Junaid serving for the match at 6-5. All looked lost when the players stepped onto court after the small break to noise from an increasingly vociferous crowd. Hailing down service winners and aces, Aisam and Prakash went into the break up 7-6 and with momentum in their direction. In the next game, they raced ahead to a 0-40 lead, hitting marvellous return winners on the way. Marx and Junaid forced two points to make it 30-40 but after a rally of volleys, they left a ball hit down the centre by Prakash. The ball landed on the line, and Aisam and Prakash roared aloud, rushing to hug each other. They won the match 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 8-6. In the next round, they will face the mighty pairing of Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles.