Nadal, however, soon recovered to complete the match under overcast conditions. "I could not hold the racquet for a few minutes". I was very scared but that's sport - it was very humid.
Nadal is 50-2 on the surface in that span.
The only real scare Nadal had was a bout of cramp in the third set, but normal service resumed after the Spaniard removed the tape from his left forearm and he wrapped up the win on his fifth match point.
By contrast, Thiem was competing in his maiden major final and although he matched his illustrious opponent for large parts of the opening set, he crumbled at the crunch and never really regained his poise.
GETTY Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem LIVE STREAM Dominic Thiem is chasing his maiden Grand Slam title
The signs were already ominous for Thiem at that stage because in 112 best-of-five-set matches, Nadal had never lost after taking the first set.
Because there's still no beating Nadal on Parisian clay in the final weekend at Roland Garros. 10 French Open titles. His all-time record is now an outlandish 86-2 at the French Open. For quite some time, he has been touted as the rightful successor to the southpaw at Roland Garros. They should name the stadium after him at this point.
Dominic Thiem was vying for his first Grand Slam title on Sunday. It's being referred to as "undécima" - Spanish for "the eleventh".
The 24-year-old has displayed ever-increasing promise but while Thiem has more ATP Tour wins on clay than any other player and has previous of ousting Nadal on his favoured red dirt, the 16-time Grand Slam champion is the overwhelming favourite to maintain his French Open dominance.
The feat is unmatched in tennis history.
"Yes, and it's going to take probably one or two more years", said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's coach.
He was unusually emotional, too.
Seemingly cruising to victory, that's when Nadal called for the trainer.
The only thing that could stop Nadal now was surely an injury.
ITV4 will continue to broadcast comprehensive coverage each year, with a guaranteed minimum of 90 hours devoted to each tournament.
We delve into the archives to explain why Nadal is one of the greatest, following his latest triumph in Paris.
11 Grand Slam finals by Rafael Nadal that equals the tally of his arch-rival Roger Federer who has played 11 finals at SW19 to win an unprecedented eight titles in Wimbledon.
Nadal doesn't seem ready to slow down.
It was a first Grand Slam final for the Austrian. Nadal then holds to 15 to go 3-0 up. Tennis has had abrupt retirements over the decades, but Nadal's ability doesn't suggest he's close to finished.
Thiem was considered the stiffest test for Nadal at the French Open and understandably so.
The number of Masters 1000 titles won by Nadal, the most by a single player since the series began in 1990. He's not indestructible, but he is indefatigable.