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Sir Andy Murray must carry on ranting, raving and winning

Andy Murray's knighthood raises some interesting issues about protocol and etiquette. And you won't find the answers in Debrett's or any other guide to the British establishment.

First, the protocol: should umpires around the world now address the Wimbledon champion as "Sir Andy Murray"? You thought Murray becoming the World No. 1 was an elevation in status, but try this: should he appear on the top line of a draw-sheet as a 'Sir' while all others are plain 'Mr'?

While Roger Federer and other players have been referring to Murray as 'Sir' -- Federer used that title in a tweet when congratulating the Briton for climbing to the top of the rankings in early November -- what's the official guidance?

It's unclear what the form is here, especially as tennis has never previously had an 'active' knight of the realm before. Fred Perry, not being a friend of the establishment, wasn't a 'Sir' when he was still playing or after his retirement.

The only former tennis player to have been a knight -- and this was after he stopped playing -- was Sir Norman Brookes. An Australian, Brookes won the 1911 title at his home Grand Slam and also snaffled a couple of Wimbledon titles, in 1907 and 1914, though he wasn't knighted until 1939 "in recognition of his public service". There will be a link later this month with Murray in Melbourne, where the Scot will be attempting, after five previous runner-up finishes at the Australian Open, to lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

Perhaps Murray -- who suggested recently that he might be too young for a knighthood, "the highest honour you can get in this country" -- could put in a request to referees and umpires that he isn't called 'Sir' at tournaments.

What's the etiquette for a knight of the realm who has missed a breakpoint opportunity by hitting a forehand long? Murray's elevation in status, having previously been awarded an OBE, is likely to attract even more attention to the way he conducts himself on court, and especially more focus on the language he uses in the white heat of competition. Even during the 2016 season, which brought Murray more success than ever before, there were still times when broadcasters found themselves apologising to viewers for his swearing.

Now Murray is never going to be a saint on a tennis court -- and nor should he be expected to be. But expect some commentators in Britain and beyond to huff and harrumph about whether dropping f-bombs on Wimbledon's Centre Court is becoming of a knight.

Just imagine the admonishments from the umpire's chair: "Code violation for an audible obscenity - warning, Sir Andy Murray." And should 'Sir Andy' really be shouting in the direction of his supporters' box or look as though he is about to bash his racket on the ground?

What should Murray do to counter that criticism? Answer: precisely nothing. Carry on as before. Smooth out all the rough edges and you'll lose some of his competitive spirit. Consider that Murray didn't ask to be knighted (though this is an honour he will gratefully receive). And remember that those who will criticise him for not behaving as a knight would be the first to attack him if he had chosen to decline the honour.

You only have to look at the tale of Sir Bradley Wiggins -- and the controversy over the cyclist's use of TUEs -- to see how a knighthood doesn't protect you from criticism.

"I am still young and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. I could still mess up and make mistakes, do stuff wrong," Murray said recently. "I am just trying to keep doing what I am doing, working hard and achieving stuff."

That sentiment had not changed after the honour had been announced. "It sounds strange, obviously," said the new Sir.. "It's a great honour to be asked, great recognition of my results in recent years and a great way to finish 2016 or start 2017.

"But I'm more than happy to just be known as Andy, that's fine by me." Perhaps that settles it.