Roger Federer's 74 career tournament titles will never amount to Jimmy Connors' 109 tourney championships.
Federer has been a professional tennis player for roughly 14 years. That means he has won around 5.3 tournament titles per year of competition.
With his current pace, Federer would need to play on his championship level for seven more years. That just isn't realistic.
This is why.
Federer will be 37 by the time he breaks Connors' record, if he were to stay on his current pace. His age is already discouraging, given his small setback in success, but it will be worse in a year or two.
It is tough to believe that Federer will win five titles a year, for seven more years. If he were in his prime, maybe his early 20s, he could possibly do it. However, being 30 years old now greatly diminishes that possibility.
Federer is certainly a contender in this year's French Open, but his longevity should be questioned. Other players have caught up to his skill level, and are able to use his age to their advantage.
Which brings up to the other players in today's tennis world.
Djokovic and Nadal are already on Federer's level. Give them—Djokovic especially—a few more years of seasoning and they will only become a tougher challenge.
Federer will need to traverse a tightrope of tough competitors and increasingly difficult odds in order to chase down Connors' record. Despite Federer's superior talent, the situation just isn't in his favor.
He still has a few more solid touring years ahead of him, but not up to the caliber of his prime playing years.
The idea of Federer breaking Connors' record is nice for Federer fans and fans of modern tennis, but it isn't a realistic goal.
Instead, tennis fans will have to settle for Federer's already-elite career resume.