A sumptuous half-volley opened up two match points and Zverev took the first when a final Thiem forehand floated long.
None of the their previous meetings had been on Thiem's favoured clay and the surface proved decisive as he managed to dictate against Anderson who was appearing in his first semi-final of a Masters 1000 event.
From there, he held on to close out the match easily and set up a final with second seed Alexander Zverev, who needed just 58 minutes to overcome unseeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-1 in the second semi-final of the day.
"He played well and I didn't play well".
That left him facing surely the toughest test now in the sport: Rafael Nadal on a clay court.
"Obviously two weeks ago in Monte-Carlo, he killed me Love and 2".
The 21-year-old adds to the two Masters titles he won last year, at the Italian Open and Canadian Open.
"He floats that ball back to the baseline and neutralises the point from there on in and it is much more hard for Zverev to really dictate and control from that sort of first strike after the serve".
Will Rafael Nadal face Dominic Thiem for the second week in a row leading into the French Open? Thiem will need to maintain his level if he is to claim a first Masters 1000 title on Sunday although her does boast a 4-1 career head-to-head lead over Zverev.
Zverev, the second seed in the tournament, always looked on top of a nervy-looking Thiem and won the final in Barcelona.
In the victory, Thiem won 86 percent of his first serve points and 72 percent of his second serve points.
Before the tournament started, Thiem sounded confident in his chances if he faced Nadal. "Hopefully this will not be my last, hopefully I can continue to improve, and win a few more".
"But, you know, after 14 years being in the position that I have been fighting for, important things, I can lose, I can win".
Nonetheless, Zverev has transformed into a consistent player on tour, taking down big names at will, ever since. "To be honest, I thought also myself that I was pretty far away before this week started".
After conceding an early break for 2-0, Thiem's only sniff came at 5-4 when he opened up 0-30 on the Zverev serve. "Now, I'm in the final again, which is unbelievable to me".
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