Victoria Beckham has built her 16-year-old son Romeo a £30,000 artificial grass court at their £6million family home in the Cotswolds.
Plans were submitted back in May by Soho House architect Michael Ergatoudis, who designed the Oxfordshire country pile and five months later aerial photos show the project has almost been completed.
The former Spice Girl, 44, is reportedly determined to make Romeo ‘the David Beckham of the tennis world’, with the talented youngster having already been mentored by some of the sport’s most prestigious players.
The addition of a tennis court on their sprawling countryside property is among the couple’s extensive renovation of the garden, transforming it into a fairy-tale rural retreat- with plans to build a natural swimming pond, orchard and a 60ft croquet lawn.
The new court was estimated to have cost them £30,000 and was designed by landscape designer Marcus Barnett, winner of three Chelsea Flower Show gold medals.
The rectangular muddy area to the east of the main triple barn has been under construction for more than a year with bulldozers flattening it in preparation, and was originally said to have been created for a five-a-side football pitch covered in all-weather Astro-turf.
However, Romeo’s love of tennis was said to have changed the family’s initial plans of what to do with the space, with Victoria doing everything she can to help pursue his passion.
A source previously told The Mail On Sunday: ‘The Oxfordshire property has always been David’s pet project, Victoria has shown very little interest and been quite resistant about having it at all in the past.
‘But now she sees it as a great place for Romeo to spend the summer holiday playing tennis. She wants him practising as much as possible and will hire in coaches to train him.
‘David is on board with the plan to make Romeo a star, but it is Victoria who is the driving force.’
When in London, Romeo plays at the elite Queen’s tennis club, with the fashion designer forking out £12,000 to have him bypass its famously long waiting list.
He has previously played with British No 2 Kyle Edmund, and he’s also posted pictures of himself with other tennis stars including women’s No 1 Simona Halep and No 2 Caroline Wozniacki online.
He’s also trained with Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov, and litter his Instagram with snaps of him in practice.
World No 6 Grigor told Hello after a training session with the teenager: ‘Romeo is such a big tennis fan, it’s unbelievable. And he’s quite crafty to be honest, and pretty talented.
‘So if he keeps on going the same way, he will go far. He’s very dedicated.’
Despite David’s desire for his three boys to follow him into football, he recently admitted he had failed to excite them about the game and was relying on the couple’s young girl Harper, seven, to develop a love of it.
Romeo was enrolled in the Arsenal football academy as a child, along with both his brothers, but he dropped out at 13. Soon after, he told his father that he wanted to quit football for good.
David revealed at the time: ‘The other day Romeo turned around to me and said he didn’t want to play football anymore. Part of me was devastated but part of me was relieved too.’
Meanwhile, the couple’s planning application shows the lengths they are going to create a green-fingered rural retreat, with diggers beginning to excavate the rest of the garden in preparation for the renovation.
Since purchasing three disused listed barns for just over £6.15million in December from landowner Nicholas Johnston, an Old Etonian friend of Cameron, the Beckhams have spent a fortune on renovations and enlisted architect Michael Ergatoudis to turn it into one family home.
But restoration work on the property, set in acres of rolling countryside, had been delayed by a series of planning wrangles with West Oxfordshire District Council.
The family was granted permission for a 60ft croquet lawn, an orchard with apple, pear and plum trees and two vegetable patches.
But proposals for an outdoor seating area to entertain friends were rejected and they have instead submitted plans for a 10ft-wide pergola, which can be removed if necessary.
They also wanted a huge swimming pool but have had to settle for natural swimming pond, using water recycled from the main house, sited within one of the courtyards so it cannot be seen from the road.
The celeb couple want to build a huge ‘wind-cheater’ mound in the south west corner made up of ‘soil from the site excavation’, which will ‘provide screening and shelter from prevailing wind’.
The orchard will be planted around the house with a mixture of bought-in mature trees, plants and shrubs fitting in character with the local environment.
The list of shipped in mature trees has is costing thousands of pounds and includes 23 oaks, seven white oaks, eight cherry trees, a plum tree, nine apple trees, three holly trees, nine witch hazels and a maple.