Question 1: On a return can you hit the ball directly out of the air without it hitting the table first?
Question 2: If Player #1 serves or returns a ball that goes beyond the other side of the table, and the ball comes in contact with Player #2’s paddle, does Player #1 get the point?
Answer: According to the rules of Table Tennis, a player can’t hit the ball until it has bounced on his side of the table. The rules for this answer are as follows:
Law 2.5.8 A player obstructs the ball if he or she, or anything he or she wears or carries, touches it in play when it is above or travelling towards the playing surface, not having touched his or her court since last being struck by his or her opponent.
Law 2.10.1 Unless the rally is a let, a player shall score a point
Law 126.96.36.199 if an opponent obstructs the ball;
So, as you can see, when returning the ball a player must wait for it to hit his side of the table first. If a player hits the ball before it bounces, but the ball is not above the playing surface and is not travelling towards the playing surface the player wins the point.
In Question 2 above, Player #2 would get the point, since the ball has gone over the endline and is heading away from the playing surface.