Paris - Nadal tells Thiem: 'You'll win it one day'
Nadal, who moved within two major trophies of Roger Federer at the top of the all-time list, told Thiem after the match on court that he would win the title "one day" and said his vanquished opponent was a "great inspiration".
Thiem has been more consistent this season than in previous years, beating Federer to win his maiden Masters title at Indian Wells before knocking out Nadal en route to the Barcelona Open title.
"I'm very disappointed and sad that I missed my second opportunity to win a Grand Slam title, but it's okay. I mean, I'm used to it," he said.
"I lost my first two Masters 1000 finals, as well. It's obviously the most difficult thing in our sport to win one of the four majors."
The 'big three' of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have now taken each of the last 10 Grand Slam singles titles between them since Stan Wawrinka won his third major tournament at the 2016 US Open.
"That's a unique and also brutal thing, I guess, in our sport, that I won six amazing matches," added Thiem.
"I beat yesterday one of the biggest legends of our game. Not even 24 hours later, I have to step on court against another amazing legend of our game, against the best clay-court player of all time.
"That also shows how difficult nowadays it is to win a Grand Slam."