Roger Federer's absence from the Duabi Duty Free Tennis Championships presents an opportunity to the remainder of the field at the ATP 500 event, according to Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The 36-year-old has opted to skip the event after winning the Rotterdam Open and returning to world number one earlier this month, despite being originally expected to appear.

Tournament organisers have been left high and dry by Federer's decision to rest and spend time with his family, with just two of the world's top 20 present in the United Arab Emirates.

Grigor Dimitrov and France's Lucas Pouille are the highest ranked players at the tournament, while world number 33 Kohlschreiber is the sixth seed at an event which is celebrating its 25<sup>th anniversary this year.

But the German feels the draw remains intriguing despite the shortage of any high profile players – Rafael Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open while Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are both injured – and says this week provides a chance for those lower down the rankings.

"I have none [expectations], he told the media after his round one win in Dubai over Gled Sakharov. "Maybe everybody is talking about Roger, the really big names in tennis, they aren't here.

"But still I think we have a very competitive draw. Of course, it's a good opportunity in a big tournament for everybody to go deep. On the other side, you have to play well to do that. If you play well, you always deserve it."

Victory for Kohlschreiber this week will propel him into the top 30 in the ATP standings, but Stefanos Tsitsipas stands between him and a place in the quarter-finals.

The 34-year-old had the distinction of being one of Federer's opponents in Rotterdam on the way to the Swiss becoming the oldest world number one in tennis history.

Kohlschreiber produced some fine resistance by forcing a first set tiebreak before going down in two sets in a match lasting nearly two hours.

"I think I improved my game," he added when asked about his improvements since losing to Federer. "In tennis or in sport maybe generally a lot of things have to do with the confidence. My year so far was a little bit rough. I had not a good start.

"Yeah, I think I found my game in Rotterdam. Second round is not a great success, even if I played a good match against Roger there.

"Yeah, I mean, I have to play a lot of matches. I try to do it here, as many as possible. For sure there are always aspects in the game you can improve. Also today I will find a few things. Overall it was a very solid, convenient win. It's the first round. I can raise my level for the second."

Roger Federer and Philipp Kohlschreiber
Federer came out on top in the pair's 13th meeting in Rotterdam - a rematch from their US Open clash last year. Getty Images