Recent theoretical and subsequent experimental studies suggest that the uptake and release of deuterium (D) in tungsten (W) under high flux ITER-relevant plasma exposure is controlled by dislocation microstructure. Thanks to numerical calculations, a comprehensive mechanism for the nucleation and growth of D bubbles on dislocation network was proposed. The process of bubble nucleation can be described as D atom trapping at a dislocation line, its in-core migration, the coalescence of several D atoms into a multiple cluster eventually transforming into a nano-bubble. This view implies that the initial microstructure might be crucial for D uptake and degradation of the sub-surface layer under prolonged plasma exposure. In this work, we apply several experimental techniques to investigate the microstructure and mechanical properties of surface and sub-surface layer of W in recrystallized and plastically-deformed condition exposed to the high flux plasma. We use transmission and scanning electron microscopy, thermal desorption spectroscopy as well as nano-indentation measurements.