Defending champions China got off to a winning start in the FIVB Women's World Cup in Japan ©FIVB

China got their defence of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Women's World Cup in Japan off to a winning start against South Korea, but world champions Serbia suffered a shock defeat to Brazil.

Playing at the Yokohama venue, China – seeking a record-breaking fifth title – made short work of their opponents, winning 25-21, 25-15, 25-14, which their captain, Zhu Ting, put down to "great teamwork".

In the last of today's three matches at Yokohama, the hosts earned a win against the Dominican Republic by 25-21, 25-11, 24-26, 25-14.

Serbia's match was the last of three at the other initial venue for this competition, Hamamatsu, and it provided spectators with high drama as they eventually succumbed to the fourth seeds from South America, 20-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 12-15.

In the opening match at Hamamatsu, the United States, back-to-back FIVB Volleyball Nations League champions, defeated Kenya 25-14, 25-20, 25-14.

That was followed by a victory for The Netherlands over Argentina, 25-16, 25-17, 25-19.

In the other Site A match in Yokohama, Russia beat Cameroon 25-14, 25-15, 25-10.

Action in both group matches continues tomorrow.