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Indo-Pak duo set to light up Court 14

IF the joy and emotion that lit up one of Wimbledon's outside courts late on Friday was stored in a battery, it would probably have had enough power to run the much-talked about Centre Court roof.

Courtesy of another epic five-set encounter, Indo-Pak duo Prakash Amritraj and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi set up a third round tie against fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi of India and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, to be played on Court 14 today.

Cue scenes of delirium among the spectators as drinks went flying and strangers hugged.

"Nobody cared about who was Pakistani and who was Indian," Pakistan's Qureshi said.

"They were all just supporting one team. It felt so good. This is the first time there were so many people from Pakistan watching me live. Even my 18-month-old nephew was there. Though by the time it was finishing he was sleeping," he grinned.

So focused was the 25-year-old Amritraj at the conclusion that he forgot what happened at the end of the match. "On all six match points they put in a good first serve," he said, only to be corrected by Qureshi.

"No the last one was a second serve. You hit a forehand down the line," the 29-year-old said, playfully punching his partner's arm.

Amritraj's father Vijay, twice a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 1973 and 1981, was courtside for the encounter and despite wearing a dark suit the heat was not the only thing getting to him. "He was pretty close to having a heart attack," his son joked. "He was getting a little tight. He had one five-setter two days ago and another one today."

Vijay was just thankful his boy came out on top. "Stressful game to watch, but a wonderful ending," said the 55-year-old TV commentator.

Also today, Roger Federer will get things started on Centre Court against No. 13 Robin Soderling. In other key matches, No. 3 Andy Murray will take on No. 19 Stanislas Wawrinka; No. 4 Novak Djokovic will play 46th-ranked Dudi Sela, and No. 6 Andy Roddick vs No. 20 Tomas Berdych,

In the women's draw, it is: No. 1 Dinara Safina vs No. 17 Amelie Mauresmo, No. 2 Serena Williams vs Daniela Hantuchova, No. 3 Venus Williams vs No. 13 Ana Ivanovic, No. 4 Elena Dementieva vs Elena Vesnina, No. 8 Victoria Azarenka vs No. 10 Nadia Petrova, No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki vs Sabine Lisicki, No. 11 Agnieszka Radwanska vs 124th-ranked Melanie Oudin, and No. 26 Virginie Razzano vs Francesca Schiavone.


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