NEW YORK - Placing Pakistan on the world tennis map was not the only feat of Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, he did much, much more for his beleaguered homeland. The 30-year-old Pakistani champion used the enormous respect and prestige he has gained over the years as he stepped up the world tennis ladder by vigorously pleading the cause of his flood-hit country, which is often depicted in the U.S. as a sponsor of terrorism. After going down fighting to the top-seeded American pair in the US Open Tennis Tournament, Qureshi did something that Pakistani politicians and diplomats have not been been able to do so effectively. He took the microphone and addressed the estimated 15,000 at Arthur Ashe Stadium -- probably the biggest crowd to watch a Grand Slam doubles final -- saying the Americans needed his words the most. "I want to say something on behalf of all Pakistanis," he said following Friday's 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) defeat to the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. "It is the wrong perception that Pakistan is a terrorist country," he told the cheering crowd and the millions of people watching the final on television around the world. "We are a friendly, loving, caring people and we want peace as much as you guys want it. May God love us all." The stadium crowd gave him a standing ovation and his moving words brought tears to Bob's eyes. His doubles partner, Rohan Bopanna of India, stood by him. Together, they've formed the politically charged tandem known as the Indo-Pak Express. Qureshi opened his remarks with "Eid Mubarak" to his countrymen and to Muslims all over the world. "My parents are watching in Pakistan, and I love you all." he said, adding that it was also his sister's birthday. Later, Qureshi expanded on what he had told the crowd. "There are extremists in every religion, but just because of them you cannot judge the whole country as a terrorist nation. I just wanted to get this message across as a Pakistani." U.N. ambassadors from Pakistan and India -- Abdullah Hussain Haroon and Hardeep Singh Puri, respectively -- sat side-by-side in the President's Box - the second straight match they've attended together - cheering the same unexpected struggle their team brought to the greatest doubles team of all time, the Bryan brothers. The 16th-seeded Qureshi and Bopanna followed up their run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals with five wins in Flushing, the venue of U.S. Open tournament. "They've proven that when Indians and Pakistanis get together we can raise fire," Ambassador Haroon said. "I think on a people-to-people basis, they're setting an example that the politicians should follow." Prize money and rankings were never a motivating factor, Qureshi said, only good news for his flood-stricken countrymen and a platform to express his message of American misunderstanding. He also defended the decision to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site. "For me, as a Muslim, that's what makes America the greatest country in the world - freedom of religion, freedom of speech," Qureshi said. "If the mosque is built, I think it's a huge gesture to all the Muslim community out there in the world. I would really appreciate it." Qureshi said he understands the reasons for sadness on 9/11 and that he accepts that it is when he comes to the U.S. that he has the most trouble with immigration checks. He said he had been stopped at airport immigration "every time" in New York - three hours at a time - including after his latest 15-hour flight for the Open. It was unusual that Ashe Stadium was nearly full even at noon, when the match started. "I could see a bunch of Indians and Pakistanis out there at 10:15 when we were warming up," Bob Bryan said. "I was looking around and I'm like, 'We're not going to have this whole crowd on our side for sure.'" He also said Qureshi's statement to the crowd choked him up. "I could see him," Bob said. "He was quivering a little bit. He was very choked up. Just to give that message to everyone was very heartfelt. What they are doing is a lot more important than winning the U.S. Open." Added Mike, "A sport can bring people together. You know, these guys are going to be great for the game for a long time." The Bryans said they are planning two fundraisers in the next month to raise more money for Pakistan flood relief.