The 31-year-old Spaniard had won 50 consecutive sets on his favourite surface going into Friday's meeting with fifth seed Thiem, but the Austrian proved a worthy victor, taking the match 7-5, 6-3.
"A player like Dominic has a lot of potential".
"Every tournament is very important for itself".
"Of course, it would be much better to have the full pressure because I won all the matches". We're not playing a game where the differences are big or massive.
It was a brief reprieve as a lazy forehand volley gave Thiem a 6-5 advantage and the set came the Austrian's way in the 12th game off an ace.
This is not the first time Zverev has showed off his courteous side, especially towards women.
Ranked third in the world, Zverev is yet to transfer his talent and success in Masters events to Grand Slams, however, where his best result remains reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon a year ago.
"It takes a really good match to beat Rafa on clay".
Filling empty bellies with "Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive"
The Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive provides individuals and families in need, support through basic nutrition. The National Letter Carriers Association teamed up with the Food Bank of Siouxland annually to " Stamp Out Hunger ".
"I think it's good for men's tennis, for the fans as well", Indian Wells victor Del Potro said of the variety of recent champions - himself, John Isner, Nadal and Alexander Zverev.
"Well, three weeks ago I beat him 6-0, 6-3". I won here seven times.
"I'm going to go to Rome where I like it and start all over again".
File image of Rafael Nadal in a press conference. Juan Martín del Potro (Argentina) 4,540, 7.
The 19-year-old Shapovalov, ranked at 43 in the world, fired 29 winners past Edmund, a surprise semi-finalist at the Australian Open in January.
Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates winning the ATP Madrid Open final tennis match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 13, 2018.
Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets previous year to win the French Open for a record 10th time.
The Masters 1000 Series continues with our coverage of the ATP Italian Open on Sky Sports Arena from 10am on Tuesday.