In their 2019 instalment, the Austrian was landing his serve into the corners to pin Nadal back en route to snatching away the second set, but that was insufficient overall; he finished with the same 58% ratio of first serve points won.
Nadal, you guessed it, succeeded in 73% of points.
All-court play key for Rafa
The image that springs to mind with Nadal on clay is the 33-year-old hauling himself across the baseline, sliding, scooping and sending scorching shots past perplexed opponents. However, he has also developed his net play.
On several occasions, in tight moments, the world No.2 attacked the net, not enabling Thiem to prolong the rallies. He even sprinkled in a few serve and volley points.
So much so that Nadal finished the final with a 23-from-27 success rate at net with plenty of acute volleys destined for the highlights reel.
The champion finishes his fortnight with 90/125 success rate canvassing the net, applying plenty of pressure to his opponents.
Rafa resets, and reigns
The captivated Court Philippe-Chatrier practically gave Thiem a standing ovation after the exhilarating second set.
It seemed his piercing groundstrokes were dissolving the Rafa resolve.
But not quite. A change of bandana, a fresh set of clothes and Nadal wrestled back the initiative, in devastating fashion.
A sumptuous pick-up volley and curling forehand pass helped the defending champion claim 16 of the first 17 points of the third set to disintegrate Thiem’s momentum. From there, the 25-year-old Austrian never posed the same threat.
105, not out
Stepping onto Court Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal had won every single best-of-five-set clay-court match in his illustrious career after claiming the first set.
So, down 6-3, Thiem faced a formidable task. And, after three hours of duelling, Rafa's record moved to 105-0, and counting...
Fatigue a factor?
Due to the challenging weather conditions, Thiem was on court for four consecutive days. The world No.4 navigated past Karen Khachanov in straight sets on Thursday, before a turbulent and fascinating five-set encounter with top seed Novak Djokovic.
It appeared the second set drained the resources of the Austrian; Nadal managed to nullify Thiem's artillery with his relentless retrieval skills and clay-court prowess.