Laureus Awards: Li Na to vie with five other contenders for sportswoman of the year

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Recently retired Chinese tennis star Li Na will enjoy home court advantage as she vies for sportswoman of the year when the premier Laureus World Sports Awards take place in China for the first time in April.

She will go up against another tennis legend, Serena Williams, in a six-woman field, organisers said.

The holding of the awards ceremony in Shanghai comes as Beijing bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics, amid rumours that China could seek to host the 2026 football World Cup.

For the men, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo will face competition from golfer Rory McIlroy and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Ronaldo's club Real Madrid are in the running for team of the year, up against another football success story, the Germany team who won the World Cup.

Others in the running for the sportsman award are tennis player Novak Djokovic and World MotoGP title-holder Marc Marquez as well as France's Renaud Lavillenie who broke a 21-year-old world record for the pole vault last year.