United States were comfortable winners against Senegal ©FIBA

United States began their International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women’s Basketball World Cup title defence with victory over Senegal in Tenerife.

The holders, who qualified automatically as the Olympic champions, edged a tight opening quarter at the Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

They were able to accelerate clear of Senegal in the second quarter to secure a straightforward half-time lead.

The American team would eventually seal an 87-67 success to begin Group D on a high.

A close match in the second Group D tie of the day eventually ended with China beating Latvia 64-61.

Hosts Spain were winners in front of their home crowd, with the Olympic silver medallists claiming an 84-70 victory over Japan.

Spain enjoyed a strong start in front of a home crowd ©FIBA
Spain enjoyed a strong start in front of a home crowd ©FIBA

Belgium were convincing 86-36 winners against Puerto Rico in the other Group C match played today.

France secured a 89-58 win to begin Group A in style, while Canada beat Greece 81-50.

Group B saw Australia emerge with an 86-68 win over Nigeria.

The second match in the group was won by Turkey, as they saw off the challenge of Argentina 63-37.