Kyle Edmund could contend at 2018 French Open - Pat Cash
|French Open 2018|
|Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 27 May-10 June|
|Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app.|
British number one Kyle Edmund is among the group of younger players who could challenge 10-time champion Rafael Nadal at the French Open, says former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.
Nadal, 31, is the favourite to win again at Roland Garros this year.
Edmund, who has risen to 17th in the world, reached his first Grand Slam semi-final in Australian in January.
"Kyle loves the clay," said Cash. "He has got that little bit of extra time to get round on that big forehand."
Describing the Briton's forehand as "a massive weapon", Cash added: "He is faster and fitter, his backhand is very solid - it isn't a weakness like it was - and his serve has got better."
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Edmund lists clay as his favourite surface, although the 23-year-old Yorkshireman has never gone past the third round at Roland Garros in three attempts.
He started his latest campaign in Paris - his first Slam as a seed and as Britain's leading male - with a clinical straight-set win over Australian teenager Alex de Minaur on Tuesday.
Cash says Edmund can be ranked just behind German second seed Alexander Zverev and Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem - the only player to have beaten Nadal on the red dirt in the past two years - as potential heirs to the Spaniard, who is known as the 'King of Clay'.
"Kyle is up there when people say 'who are the new guys coming though on clay?'" Cash told BBC Radio 5 live Tennis.
"Zverev and Thiem have already come through and Kyle is in that handful of players who will definitely be up there in the next few years - and maybe this year."
|Highest ranked players 23 or under|
However, Cash describes beating Nadal on clay as the "toughest thing in sport" and also believes 2016 champion Novak Djokovic - who has only recently returned from an elbow injury - stands little chance of competing for a 13th Grand Slam title.
"Novak just hasn't played a lot of matches - you have to have matches under your belt to be successful on the clay," the Australian, who is coaching American women's 15th seed Coco Vandeweghe, said.
"I'm not sure he can get that far."