Retired Chinese tennis star Li Na is up against Serena Williams in a six-woman field for sportswoman of the year in the Laureus World Sports Awards.
The other nominees are Valerie Adams, Marit Bjorgen, Genzebe Dibaba, and Tina Maze, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
In the men's field, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo will compete against number one golfer Rory McIlroy and Formula One motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton.
Also in the race are tennis world number one 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.
Ronaldo's club, Spain's Real Madrid, is in the running for team of the year, together with the German men's team which won the FIFA World Cup, European Ryder Cup team, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team, NBA's San Antonio Spurs and Switzerland Davis Cup team.
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Shanghai on Wednesday night.