Thiem - competing in his first grand slam final after a pair of semifinal showings in Paris - needed to win the first set to have any realistic opportunity of ending Nadal's reign.
Former professional tennis players Greg Rusedski and Annabel Croft have questioned the tournament officials for allowing Rafa to get treatment for cramps in the middle of the match.
Thiem started the match quite poorly.
At 4-4 Nadal hit a second serve that bounced before it reached the net but he shrugged that off to hold. In fact, after just a few minutes of play, the ten-time champion had won eight of the first nine points.
The Spaniard admitted he was "scared" when, in the third set of a one-sided final against Dominic Thiem, he had to stop mid-game and call for the trainer.
But the Austrian freed his shoulders and broke back in the third game with forehand victor - pumping his fists in the direction of coach Gunter Bresnik. Thiem was hammering every ball that he could, and Nadal was responding with his classic clay court defense. For the last 14 years, he hasn't relented.
Spain's Rafael Nadal was down a set and a break against the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. Nadal had another massage at 5-2 and he ended Thiem's ordeal on his fifth match point when the Austrian returned long. Could Thiem provide us with a classic final?
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Many top players choose to focus too much on the Slams, to make sure they peak there at the right time, and in doing that, their results at regular tour events can suffer.
The Spaniard edged an intense opening set, tightening his grip in the second.
Nadal brushed aside Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-3 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier to add to his record haul at Roland Garros. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline, leaving Thiem sagging his shoulders and muttering.
Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1.
Nadal will be a big loss to the tournament if he opts to stay away, although fans will be able to see Federer in action again. It clearly impacted his serve moving forward, but not his ground strokes.
The world No. 1 saved it and went on to secure a two-set lead when yet another backhand from the Austrian drifted wide.
Rafael Nadal insists that he has no desire to become locked into an arms race with Roger Federer to surpass his great rival's 20 Grand Slam titles. Plus, consider this: Coco Gauff, a 14-year-old from Florida, beat Caty McNally, a 16-year-old from OH, in the junior final, the fourth time at the last five Grand Slam tournaments that two Americans played each other for the girls' title.
Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic have won the French Open for their first Grand Slam title in women's doubles.
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