The United States crushed Brazil 20-2 on the opening day in Shanghai ©Getty Images

The United States began the defence of their International Swimming Federation (FINA) Women's Water Polo World League title in style by thrashing Brazil 20-2 on the opening day of the Super Final at the Oriental Sports Centre in Shanghai.

The Americans, who are also the reigning Olympic and world champions, were in ruthless form in the Group B encounter as Samanth Hill and Madeline Musselman both scored six apiece in a thumping victory which laid down another marker ahead of Rio 2016.

Brazil captain Marinate Zablith and Mariana Duarte netted consolation goals but their efforts mattered little as they succumbed to a heavy defeat.

“I don't care for the words whether the weakest or strongest,” US Coach Adam Krikorian said.

“Our goal is to play our best and that is our focus.

“We will have two more international event with the Hungarians and Russians right before the Rio Olympic Games.

“Every team will keep fighting and will be tough in Rio.”

In the other match to take place in Group B on the opening day of the Super Final, Spain held off a resurgent Canada, the only team competing in Shanghai not to have qualified for Rio 2016, to clinch a pulsating 16-12 success.

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2015 Super Final silver medallists Australia also began with a win as they beat Russia ©Getty Images

Hosts China also put in a good display as two goals apiece from Song Doonglun and Zhang Cong helped them grind out a narrow 8-7 victory in their Group A clash against Italy in what was a low-scoring affair.

After both the opening two quarters had finished level, China fell behind in the third before they recovered in the last stanza, keeping a clean sheet while adding two to their tally to see out a tense triumph.

Australia, the 2015 Women's Water Polo World League silver medallists following defeat to the US in last year’s final, were involved in a topsy-turvy match with Russia before they eventually secured an 11-10 win.

The lead traded hands throughout the encounter but the Australians were able to edge over the winning line thanks to Bronte Halligan’s goal in the dying seconds.

The tournament in Shanghai continues tomorrow.