After a hard fought first set, the number one seeded Nadal dominated the rest of the match to capture his 17th grand slam title.
Thiem was the only player to have defeated Nadal on clay prior to Roland Garros for the second straight year, and his quarterfinal victory over Nadal at the Madrid Masters snapped the Spaniard's 50-set winning streak on clay.
Dejected but gracious in defeat, Thiem told Nadal and the Philippe Chatrier court that his extended record for the most men's Grand Slam wins at any tournament was "one of the most awesome things in sport".
However, Thiem will not just have to battle the King of Clay but also nerves in his first Grand Slam final appearance.
The victory also allowed the 32-year-old Spaniard to hold onto the No. 1 ranking. The Austrian won only one point in the first two games. Thiem may need to play near flawless tennis if he expects to give Nadal a serious challenge. "I played a great match against a great player", said Nadal.
He bagged the second set when Thiem sent a backhand long.
Even though Nadal is the overwhelming favourite in the summit clash, the seventh seeded Dominic Thiem is no slouch on clay either.
Nadal bids for 11th French Open title, facing Thiem in final
Thiem put up a good fight in his opening service game of the third set, saving four breakpoints.
A glimmer of hope was when the middle finger on his left hand started to cramp in the middle of the fourth game, causing him to take a salt tablet and have the strapping on his forearm to be removed, which is there to stop the sweat pouring onto his palms.
He saved another two in the 11-minute sixth game, a performance cheered by the crowd who briefly became more animated when glum-looking French football icon Zinedine Zidane was spotted in the stadium.
He still occasionally inconvenienced the reigning champion, not least when a deft drop shot brought up a point to break back at 2-4.
Thiem had given it his all but never got his nose in front as Nadal continued his unbeaten record in the final in Paris. Nadal's "La Decima" was his 10th French Open, and he managed it without dropping a set throughout the tournament.
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