Wawrinka-Li Na Bet Returns $196,000 to Australian Open Gambler

A gambler in Australia won $196,000 by correctly predicting that Stanislas Wawrinka and Li Na would win the singles titles at the Australian Open.

The person laid a $435 bet on the pair to become the men’s and women’s champions at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year, Nicholas Tzaferis, a spokesman for Australia’s biggest bookmaker TAB Corp., said in an e-mail today.

At the time the bet was made at one of TAB’s 2,900 stores in Australia, the odds on each player both winning the event were 451-1. TAB couldn’t identify the punter because it was a cash bet.

The eighth-seeded Wawrinka beat world No. 1 and top seed Rafael Nadal in four sets to claim his first Grand Slam title. Wawrinka, 28, is the second Swiss man to win a major tennis tournament after Roger Federer, who has a record 17 wins in Grand Slam singles competitions.

China’s Li won the women’s title on her third visit to the final, defeating Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets. Li, 31, is the oldest woman to win the championship since the professional era of tennis began in 1968. The fourth-seeded Li’s only other Grand Slam title came at the 2011 French Open. She lost in the championship match in Melbourne to Kim Clijsters of Belgium in 2011 and to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus last year.

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