Nadal is in action at the Monte Carlo Masters this afternoon, taking on Dimitrov for a spot in the final.
The Austrian didn't get on the scoreboard until the 10th game, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.
If Nadal wins Sunday's final, he will earn a 76th career title and also keep his No. 1 ranking.
"I'm defending well, returning well".
He wrapped up the victory in an hour and 31 minutes and extended his run of consecutive sets won on clay to 34. "It is hard to play better than today. Being honest, I have to recognize that".
"Here, I think I played great".
The 30-year-old, who is working with former long-time coach Marian Vajda for the first time in a year, is now ranked 13 in the world.
The top-ranked Spaniard is on course for a record-extending 11th Monte Carlo title.More news: P&G Takes on Merck's Consumer Health Division for $4.2B
More news: Students walk out for 3rd time to demand action on gun reform
More news: 'Smallville' Actress Allison Mack Arrested in Alleged Cult Sex Trafficking Case
The way he dismantled Thiem, it appears little can stop him from doing so.
Nadal will look for an 11th title in the Principality following Saturday's 6-4 6-1 win, his 11th in 12 meetings with the Bulgarian.
Each player saved two break points in their first service games of the decider before Nishikori steadied himself to convert a match point in the 10th game and book a place in the final.
Nishikori took the upper hand again with a break to love for a 4-3 lead and Zverev vented his fury after thudding a backhand low into the net to lose the second set.
"Yes, for sure he's the favourite". "It is hard to play better than today".
Zverev is looking for a third Masters title after the disappointment of losing the final in Miami to John Isner earlier this month. Rafa played well, I didn't.
Nadal recently returned from a right hip injury, which forced him to retire during the Australian Open quarterfinals.