Nadal. the world's No. 1 player, has 17 career Grand Slam titles, now three behind Roger Federer for most all-time.
Thiem, who is being touted as the second-best player (by a long margin) on clay over the years, heads into the final with the herculean task of stopping Nadal's French Open final juggernaut.
"It's wonderful now, I can't describe my feelings", Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.
For Thiem, playing in his first Slam final, it was a tremendous letdown for a player who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the last two years.
2-nd player after Australia's Margaret Court to win a single Grand Slam title 11 times.
The Spaniard also won the title without losing a set, becoming the third man to do so in the Open era after Ilie Nastase and Borg.
But from the moment Nadal broke serve in the 10th game to win the opening set Thiem's belief ebbed away. One more backhand error from Thiem would see Nadal raise his hands in triumph. Thiem may need to play near flawless tennis if he expects to give Nadal a serious challenge.
Nadal, in an on-court interview, also said he's sure that runner-up Thiem will win the tournament in "the next couple of years".
Can Dominic Thiem win his first Grand Slam title on Sunday?CHRISTOPHE SIMON AFP Getty Images
Rafael Nadal and historic firsts at Roland Garros are inseparable.
But once a competive first set went the way of the world number one, the plan became damage limitation and Nadal's "undecima" never looked in any doubt.
They call him the "King of Clay".
His lead was reminiscent of their semifinal at the French Open previous year, when Nadal also held the early advantage.
Thiem, mixing heavy top-spin and flat groundstrokes and angling balls across the sidelines, saved a break point at 1-2 and two more at 2-3 and there were signs that Nadal was struggling with his timing - over-cooking several forehands.
It was a match told in break points.
Thiem scrapped hard to save four break points but Nadal is relentless, keeping up the pressure until the seventh seed sends a backhand long.
Nadal has never lost at Roland Garros following an opening set victory.
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