Soldier who lost leg works US Open semifinal

September 9, 2012 - 5:41 PM
US Open Blade Runner Ballperson

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2012 file photo, ball person Ryan McIntosh of San Antonio, Texas chases down a ball during the match between Lukas Lacko and James Blake in the first round of play at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. McIntosh, 23, an Army specialist, was walking with his platoon through a river valley near Kandahar in December 2010 when he stepped on a pressure-plate land mine. He now wears a prosthetic right leg. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan McIntosh, the ballperson who lost his leg when he stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan, was working the men's semifinal Sunday between Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer at the U.S. Open.

The 23-year-old McIntosh is an Army specialist. He was walking with his platoon through a river valley near Kandahar in December 2010 when he stepped on a pressure-plate land mine. He now wears a prosthetic right leg.

He learned about the chance to become a U.S. Open ballperson while competing this year at the Warrior Games, an Olympic-style sports festival for wounded soldiers.

McIntosh got good reviews early in the tournament from his supervisor and was rewarded with one of the plum assignments — a key match in Arthur Ashe Stadium on the final weekend.

Denise Castelli, an amputee who also worked last year's Open, worked Sunday's women's final.