"Always, to play Rafa here on this court, is always the ultimate challenge, one of the toughest challenges in sports in general", Thiem said Saturday after his five-set, two-day semifinal win over Novak Djokovic.
Thiem will face 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on Sunday in a rematch of last year's final.
Thiem improved to 2-1 against Djokovic at the French Open but hasn't taken a set off Nadal in their three Paris tussles.
"One of the worst conditions I have ever been part of", the disgruntled, 32-year-old Djokovic told reporters minutes after his 26-match winning run in Grand Slam play was ended.
He will also attempt to become just Austria's second Grand Slam men's champion after Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Tickets for the women's final between Ashleigh Barty and Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova will include the conclusion of the Djokovic match against Thiem, and Croft told Eurosport: "It feels as though everything they did in terms of trying to sell those sessions separately has actually totally backfired in many ways". They walloped the ball from all angles. So that led to this key statistic: He won only 35 of 71 points when he went to the net.
In still blustery conditions in Paris - though not almost as windy as Friday - Djokovic became agitated when chair umpire Jaume Campistol handed him a time violation warning while serving at 5-6, 30-15 in the third set.
Serving at 15-all while down 6-5, Djokovic was agitated by a warning from chair umpire Jaume Campistol for letting the serve clock expire and wouldn't let it go, complaining during the game and, more vociferously, at the changeover, so much so that he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Thiem benefitted from a couple of slices of luck with the net helping him on more than one occasion, with one of those seeing him secure a critical break back in the fourth game of the fourth set.
However, Djokovic prevailed to send the match into a decider. Thiem got 69 percent of his first serves in play and saved five of his 12 break points. The problem is there's a major advantage for Nadal in terms of rest, as Thiem just played over four hours and wasn't able to enjoy a full days rest due to constant rain delays. Thiem is 4-8 overall in his career vs. Nadal and has beaten Nadal on European clay in each of the past three years.
It took a toll, as this time Djokovic buckled in the next game when his volley clipped the tape and dropped on his side. Except Thiem couldn't close. Pushed a backhand wide.