“I completely understand — it’s the two greatest players of all time,” Mouratoglou said of the attention. “But I’m really focused on the singles, because my goal is that she [Williams] wins the Australian Open.”
(Ben Rothenberg, “Serena Williams and Roger Federer Face Off for the First Time,” NYTimes, 1-1-19)
I would say “my goal is that she *win* the Australian Open.”
I’m content to publicize this further bit of evidence that the subjunctive mood is on the ropes in English. And why not? What problem does it solve? The speaker quoted, Patrick Mouratoglou, is Serena Williams’s coach. He’s French, and the French equivalent — “qu’elle gagne” — wouldn’t have distinctive present subjunctive marking either. Could that have influenced him to use the indicative in his English statement? To quote James Joyce, “Ask yourself the answer, I’m not giving you a short question.” I surmise that the past subjunctive form would rear its head if he said the French equivalent of “my goal *was* that she win (wins?) the Australian Open.” I forget, however, how to conjugate that particular form in French. Would it be “gagnasse”? I’ve dug myself down a French rabbit hole in pursuit of a fly speck of English trivia.
(c) 2018 JMN.