Nadal won his record-extending 11th championship at the French Open on Sunday, overcoming a late problem with a finger on his racket-swinging hand and displaying his foe-rattling best for a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 7 seed Thiem, the only person to beat the Spaniard on clay over the past two seasons.
After the victory - which saw Nadal claim his 17th Grand Slam title in total, just three behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 - social media was quick to laud the 32-year-old's staggering achievement.
He became the first player to hold three major titles on three different surfaces at the same time when he won the Australian Open with a five-set success against Federer again.
- Nadal's uncle Miguel Angel Nadal was a former soccer player who represented Barcelona, RCD Mallorca and the Spain national team.
Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1. At the following changeover, he was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.
Less than an hour after the match was completed, demolition workers began to smash up Court Philippe Chatrier, part of the continuing redevelopment that will lead to a roof being in place over the stadium court in two years' time. Thiem withstood a barrage of break points to hold in a marathon sixth game, which he thought he had won at 40-30 when he left a wide ball, only for the umpire to overrule the line judge.
Nadal came in looking slightly more vulnerable than he did a year ago, in which he lost only 35 games in claiming the title. After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.
'I can't describe my feelings.
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"To win 11 times here - it's fantastic and not something I ever dreamed of".
"He said "you have got to play as if you're going to be in the finals, with the same sort of aggressive play" and Andy went on to win majors".
An edgy Thiem won only one of the first eight points as Nadal, cheered to the rafters when he walked on court, bristled with intent.
Thiem was still on the back foot in the third set, being forced to save four break points in the first game.
Another feature was his ridiculously slow play when serving, nearly always over the 25-second limit and sometimes going well into the thirties.
Despite matching Nadal forehand for forehand, Thiem was undone in the 10th game when three errors handed Nadal the opening set after 52 minutes on court. Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a steamy afternoon.
That it was not was testimony to Nadal's level, which never wavered, despite everything Thiem threw at him. A forehand long. Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game run that put him up 3-0 in the second set.