Q. In a recent column you stated that "a player is permitted only one swing at the ball." Does that mean that if a player completely whiffs an overhead and the ball never touches the racket (or body) that the player cannot let the ball bounce and then hit the ball back over the net? Also, does that mean that in a doubles match if one player at net swings at the ball and misses, that the player's partner cannot hit the ball back over the net?
A. One swing refers to when you make contact with the ball. In this case, one continuous motion is permitted even if the ball hits the racket more than once. An intentional second swing is not permitted.
A “whiff” does not count as a swing unless it is a serve. If you whiff a serve it is a fault (Rules 19).
During a rally if you swing and miss an overhead or any shot, you can try to retrieve the ball after the permitted one bounce or no bounce and that is legal. Your partner can make an attempt to play the ball if you whiff a shot.