The dominant forces in tennis and football were honored Monday, with Novak Djokovic winning the top individual prize and Barcelona capturing the team trophy at the 2012 Laureus Sports Awards.
The top-ranked Djokovic won sportsman of the year at the ceremony in London, one week after the Serbian triumphed at the Australian Open to become the fifth man in the Open Era to win three Grand Slam titles in a row. He's already targeting a fourth at the French Open in Paris in June.
"I have to stay optimistic, believe in what I can do, believe in my abilities and believe that I can win on all surfaces," Djokovic said. "I have proven on numerous occasions that I can really be one of the candidates to win every Grand Slam on every surface. I need to keep that up. Roland Garros is the one to win this year."
Barcelona was recognized as the best team after a stellar 2011 in which Pep Guardiola's players won the Spanish league and Champions League.
Kenyan distance runner Vivian Cheruiyot, who won the 5,000- and 10,000-meter titles at the world championships last year, took the sportswoman's award. Darren Clarke was honored with the comeback of the year award.
The 43-year-old Northern Irishman won his first golf major by capturing the British Open at Royal St. George's last year.
Compatriot Rory McIlroy won the breakthrough of the year award for the 22-year-old's eight-shot win at the U.S. Open at Congressional, becoming the second-youngest player to win a major since 1934.
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